THE STORY OF 4 MEN; INNOCENT
BUT YET FOUND GUILTY
5men and 2 women were tried in Harris County in October 1985. Three men of Victoria, Texas- Born and raised: Donald Thompson, Ricky Mimms and Richard Haynes, and Marvin Coleman of Wichita Falls were caught up in a vindictive and malicious act of revenge by the mother of Ricky Mimm’s daughter. Motive: Sara felt rejected by Ricky because their affair ended; he married someone by the name of Felicia.
Three other friends from Victoria were accused; one being his wife and the other 2 people were a married couple. A Victoria lawyer Mike Siebert represented them; their trial was hung on guilt/innocent. They each received 8 years probation. In 1984, at the age when most young adults are just starting their careers. Donald Thompson, Richard Haynes, and Marvin Coleman were on their way to prison, each were sentenced to 50 years. Ricky Mimms was sentenced to 99 years.
This was all centered around a surprise birthday party that was given for Ricky Mimms at his home in Houston Texas, in the area of Hiram Clark on Saturday. October 6, 1984.
Sara Shelton also known as Sara Birden and Ricky Mimms gave birth to a daughter name Ricki Nicole Mimms . In April 1984 Ricky won visitation rights, but Sara attempted to terminate his rights, more than once. Following each visit Sara Birden would question her daughter, and she would consistently deny anything went on. On October 6, Ricky picked his daughter up for a weekend visit. 4 days later on October 10, Sara Birden contacted Child Protective Services. On October 11, 1984,- 5 days later Sara took the child into the hospital to be examined. She was 6 years old at the time; it was obvious that the child was molested by someone. Her exam results confirmed she had a 1.5 centimeter opening, compared to .5 of a normal child. Ricky has a step-daughter name Ebony. At the time she was 9 years old, she resided in the home also. Sara insisted both girls had been molested. The exam given by a Dr. showed signs that Nicole had been molested over a long-term period, probably spanning years or months, it was in the healing stage. But an exam of Ebony showed she had never been molested. The evidence of Ebony exam was presented without the jury being presence. These 5 grown men were alleged to have sexually molested this 6 year old.
This is how 5 men 2 women got caught up in a nightmare that is still haunting 4 of the men today.
Parole law states that you must pass the instant offense of the polygraph test, if not its assumed offenders are guilty of crime as convicted, if they can’t pass the polygraph test. In this case Texas Pardon and Parole ordered alleged sex offenders to attend sex offender counseling and to take a polygraph test which is called the instance offense. If they fail, the sex offender counselor supervisor demands that the sex offender treatment counselor discharge them from the class. This automatically provokes their condition of parole and results in a warrant for their arrest. After failing the instant offense of polygraph test parole makes one of three decisions.
2.Send to Inter-Sanction Facility
3.Send back to Texas Department of Correction (TDC)
Donald Thompson served 18 ½ years in prison made parole 2002---After release from Texas Department of Correction he later had to take a polygraph test that’s required by condition of his parole.
1st-failed--- jailed and then sent to ISF (inter- Sanction Facility)
2nd-failed---jailed and released, reinstated parole
3rd-failed---jailed sent back Texas Department of Correction from 2002 until 2005.
After Donald made parole in 2002 he hired Sean Buckley to represent him.
In 2009 Donald’s attorney wrote Mr. Joseph Bon Jorno (S.O.R.P. Director) in Huntsville, Texas.
Buckley informed him that his client case is currently pending an application for writ of habeas corpus in the Harris County 174th District Court Cause No.414239. He stated and I quote “I therefore, respectfully request that Donald Thompson be excused from the requirement that he admit the offense conduct. If he is forced to admit the offense conduct, this admission would adversely affect his application for writ of habeas corpus, which is based on the claim of actual innocence”.
The reason for the above letter to Bon Jorno was before Donald could get paroled from Texas Department of correction in 2011 he had to do a sex offender program. He was put in an 18 month program where he could get out early, but in order to stay in there he would have to commit to crime. They also had a 4 month program whereas you don’t have to admit. However since Attorney Sean Buckley had previously written a writ on Donald’s behalf. Donald was able to serve 12 months in the program instead of 18 months.
Donald Thompson served 6 more years in prison and made parole in 2011--------Locked up again in Victoria county jail--Febuary-2011. Donald lived in an area where telephone wiring is underground, it rained at his home and telephone wiring messed up. This caused his leg monitor to go off and parole issued warrant for his arrest. He stayed in jail for 1 day. In February -2012 as part of 1 year good supervision, his leg monitor was taken off.
2012 -----since release from Texas Department of Correction----took polygraph:
2nd-failed---March 2012 again locked in Victoria county jail, waiting on a hearing as of June. 2012.
Ricky Mimms served 24 years in prison and made parole 2010--------November 2011 he was also given permission to attend church. Later he was ordained and did preach several sermons.-----Ricky was given a pass (meaning permission) to attend late church service one Sunday in February from his probation officer. But because his paper work was submitted improperly by parole officer, his monitor went off at his home, causing him to be arrested after church service.
November 2011 as part of good supervision his monitor was taken off in November.
In March he took a polygraph:
2nd. failed---jailed----sent to ISF - March 2012 until June 2012.
Marvin Coleman served 18 years made parole 2001------Parole accused him of taking his leg monitor off and leaving his home, but witness say not true. His parole was revoked and he was sent back to Texas Department of Correction, where he has remained since 2004.
Richard Haynes served 18 1/2 years made parole2002---------after release from TDC took polygraph:
Failed 1 in Victoria TX.
Failed 1 in Tyler TX.
Richard had to commit to doing 1 on 1 counseling, afterward he passed the instant offense test. He’s on maintenance. Sees parole once a month.
The Victoria Texas, parole officer of Donald Thompson and Ricky Mimms have never offered them other options. They have to continue with their same group therapy and also have the same therapist.
However therapy sessions were never offered to these men in Victoria. As I have stated Richard Haynes could not pass the instant offense polygraph test in Victoria, he then moved to Tyler and could not pass test. After failing the two polygraph test, Richard was forced to take one on one therapy sessions.
This haunting 1984 case have--- Depressed these men and families. After they are incarcerated, they get out and still have to go thru torture. They are Stressed because they have to re-live being locked up. Also these men are pressured to commit to a crime, also obligated to take polygraph test, whereas they have always maintain their innocence. Taking the polygraph test make men--- Nervous---the thought of taking a polygraph test makes anybody nervous. One reason they cannot pass the instant offense test is the thought of taking the polygraph test over and over and feeling like the test is designed and set up to prevent them from them passing. Who is to say having some therapist cannot help them pass the test? Remember they have never had 1on 1 with a therapist.
Statistic should show that molestation happen with no one really knowing. Molestation is a secret unless its gang rape and statistic show a lower percent for adults than adolescents.
Because the parole board says they must confess, even though they have served each over 25 + years in prison. They have always maintained their innocence. Each of the men has made parole, but cannot pass a polygraph test that is not permissible in the court of law. Remember there was no DNA, just word of mouth. Parole law states that you must pass the instant offense of the polygraph test, if not, parole assume offenders are guilty of crime as convicted, especially if they can’t pass the polygraph test. Lawmakers and Texas Board of Pardon and Parole are aware of statics’ of the wrongfully convicted. These men are among the statics. My endeavor is to get as many signatures as possible after the reading of this true story. So that as a voice we can be heard and the changes that are very necessary can go forward to the many lawmakers and other legislative officials to make an endeavor to make Justice for all become part of the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE as we know it “JUSTICE FOR ALL”.
As I have stated, due to the polygraph test the men cannot pass. The instant offense of the test also asks 1 question that was never asked in court.
Texas Board of parole treats every person as criminals’, but as citizens we must keep in mind, we are 1st human beings, God’s children. Let’s keep in mind there are higher percentages of people being released from prison for being wrongfully accused and DNA has cleared their name. Unfortunately remember Sara took Nicole in to be examined 5 days later. No DNA. So word of mouth has halted these innocent men even on today, year 2012.
The complainant recanted her story to more than one person years afterwards. In early 1990’s Iris Cook contacted the complainant by phone, at her home and she admitted her father Ricky and the other three men did not molest her. Sean Buckley of DeGuerin & Dickson law firm of Houston TX hired a private investigator in 2003, she later contacted Nicole and was told by the complainant that it was her baby-sitter Ms. Mary’s son, who molested her and that his name started with a T. Shortly afterward Nicole contacted an attorney by the name of William Jones and stated to him that she wanted to know how to get her father and co-defenders off. But nothing transpired after the call was made to Donald’s attorney.
However time passed and Donald won a hearing on the case. In 2008 there was a delay in scheduling of getting on the docket for a hearing. Judge Rueben Guerro ordered the state or defendant council Sean Buckley to produce an affidavit, since such a time a request for hearing has been granted; without affidavit being produced. The court has reset the dates 4 times: June 16 &17 2011, July 21, 2011, August 25, 2011 and September 28, 2011. This was a disappointment. Finally in February 2012 a hearing was schedule on docket and not postpone the complainant took stand and says she doesn’t remember. As of June 2012 a continuation hearing is still under way, when the State and Donald attorney Sean agrees on a hearing date. So now the men go thru whatever parole board condemn constitutional.
Let’s take a stand on fairness and justice, because you have sex offender who commit to the crime, but don’t register–don’t attend their schedule counseling meetings—don’t follow all travel rules etc. They revoke their probation time and time again and stay out of prison. What they do is commit other sex acts. It depends what they are on parole for, because there are also those who kill etc. Innocent accusers should defend their constitutional right. Why? My answer is because there are old laws, that was written and they are unconstitutional.
Just like “ stand your ground law”, in Florida that need to be reheard and revised, So does these laws that give the parole board the right to keep locking up innocent people. The polygraph test that’s attached with these law need to be done away with. Especially when the case is based on no DNA, or when it’s based on a polygraph test and word of mouth. These men are asking for justice. They were raised well and have good mannerism. Before being incarcerated each had no prior record. Since they have gotten out, they have obtained jobs, they were living a productive life and was well behave and liked by their fellow employee and friends. They have also obeyed their parole board rules and regulation. But as I have stated they must pass what’s called the instant offense of their test. Yet a polygraph test is not permissible in the court of law. But as a condition of parole they must pass the instant offense.
In this case Texas Board of Pardon and Parole ordered alleged sex offenders to attend sex offender counseling / treatment. Which they have attended faithfully, but in the classes requires them to take a polygraph test, which they continuously fail. The sex offender counselors Supervisor demand their counselor discharge them from the class which will consequently revoke their parole and a warrant is issues for their arrest. So they lose their jobs, because they are locked up in jail for weeks to a month until parole hear their cases and decide one of 3 things.
2.Send to Inter Sanitation Facility
3.Send back to Texas Department of Correction (TDC)
Please if you read this in it’s entirely and realize this is unfair and unjust I ask you to sign the petition that will go forward with this letter to the state legislators office, US justice department, and the F.B.I. hoping an investigation is launched. Our endeavor will be to get law makers to read and revise such unconstitutional law that never should have been written. The Criminals Justice System has been run for years under unjust laws. We all know innocent people are incarcerated. Laws need to be revised and changed.
Just like STAND YOUR GROUND LAW IN Florida.
Please read this with justice, thoughtfulness and consideration in mind and your utmost respect for the law.
This remind me of the movie THE HURRICANE with Denzel Washington, where as it first took a young a man to read this book and tell the story to others who believed in his innocence, who searched and found truth and helped to release him for a crime he did not commit.
Family members have had no contact with Rickie Nicole because this was part of parole stipulation. For this the family has been greatly regretful. The 1st. time in February at hearing was when paternal grandmothers set eyes on the now 34 years old. Her father, Ricky had not seen her since October 6, 1984. Ricky and his entire family have always confessed a love for Nicole. Even today Ricky and family want her to know they love her, and wish her well.
If you read this and remember the 1984 case, please feel it is your obligation to tell the truth as you have heard or know it. Family and friends will greatly appreciate your help as citizens to free these 4 innocence men of the law that is keeping them locked up. You can do so by emailing email@example.com
If you are a reporter or television broadcaster and want an exclusive interview you can contact
This case has been in the same status since 2002, with the same attorney. These innocent men need any and all assistance that will help them obtain their freedom. Please assist with email-phone calls and letters or with any support possible.
If there are any attorneys or law-makers that read this story and would like to contribute to these men being free once and for all. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org