Justice for David Strickland
Justice for David Strickland
Why this petition matters
In June of 2012, Mollie Olgin and Kristene Chapa were on a date in Portland, Texas when they were approached by a gunman in Violet Andrews Park. The attacker, wearing gloves and a mask, forced Kristene to duct-tape Mollie and herself. He referred to the girls by numbers as he sexually assaulted them and then shot each of them in the back of the head. Mollie, who was shot first, did not survive.
David Strickland was charged with the fatal attack on Mollie Olgin and Kristene Chapa after a former friend of his, a detective, was appointed as the lead on the case. Based primarily on shell casings found underneath Mollie’s body and an inconclusive ballistics report, Strickland was convicted and sentenced to life in prison in September of 2016 by San Patricio County. Aside from the questionably-handled shell casings, no physical evidence or eyewitnesses place David Strickland at the scene of the crime.
However, overwhelming evidence indicates that the original suspect, Dylan Wade Spellman, is the real perpetrator. Spellman had just been convicted of an armed robbery in Nevada during which he and his cohorts entered a home and tied and bound the residents, including a child, as they referred to each other by numbers. Spellman was staying with a family friend in Portland while he awaited sentencing and spent a lot of time in Violet Andrews Park. Before Strickland’s arrest, Spellman’s DNA had been found on a cigarette butt and an energy drink can at the scene. When law enforcement visited Spellman in a Nevada prison to confront him about the DNA, Spellman failed a polygraph test and also asked the prosecutor, Sam Smith, “How much time am I looking at?” After being told that capital murder carried a death penalty sentence, Spellman declined to speak further and was not charged.
Additionally, three eyewitnesses that could positively identify Spellman placed him at the scene before and after the murder. Spellman was also found by police having sex with a woman in the same park, beneath an overlook, one month after the murder. According to Kristene, the attacker used a silver pistol. Upon searching the home of Spellman's girlfriend, Portland police found a silver pistol, while Strickland’s Glock pistol, the alleged murder weapon, is black. Furthermore, Strickland did not own any silver pistols at all. Two years after Strickland’s conviction, a pubic hair that had been found on Chapa’s clothing was also matched to Dylan Spellman. San Patricio County District Attorney, Sam Smith, has dismissed the DNA match on the pubic hair as irrelevant.
To date, no arrest warrant has been issued for Dylan Spellman while the shoddy case against David Strickland has been repeatedly broadcast on national television, including MSNBC, Vanity Fair, Investigation Discovery, and Dateline NBC. In early 2020, David Strickland’s appeal was denied by the 13th Circuit Court of Appeals.
David Strickland deserves exoneration or a new trial. Kristene and Mollie’s family deserve the truth and justice. The public deserves integrity in the criminal justice system. Sign the petition today.
San Patricio County District Attorney (Samuel Boyd Smith)
P.O. Box 1393
Sinton, TX 78387
Texas Court of Criminal Appeals
P.O. Box 12308
Austin, Texas 78711