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Harris County to review DWI cases

Profile image for By Juan A. Lozano
By Juan A. Lozano

HOUSTON (AP) — Questions about whether a toxicologist misrepresented her credentials have prompted prosecutors to review Houston-area DWI cases featuring her expert testimony, officials said Thursday.

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office notified area defense attorneys this week that Dr. Fessessework Guale might have incorrectly testified in cases about the type of degree that she earned. Guale, who has worked since 2006 for the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences, which is the county’s medical examiner’s office, might have said she received a master’s degree in toxicology instead of physiological sciences, the notice said.

Jeff McShan, a spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said prosecutors are still trying to determine in how many cases Guale testified as an expert.

“All we’re doing is asking people to let us know as soon as possible,” he said.

In an email Thursday, the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences said its records show that since December 2011, Guale has testified in 33 DWI cases.

Attorney Tyler Flood, said he questioned Guale in a recent DWI case about her qualifications after learning she earned a doctor of veterinary medicine degree in Ethiopia and that her master’s degree from Oklahoma State University was in physiological sciences from the college of veterinary medicine.