Exonerated a decade after his conviction, Bexar County man can now seek U.S. citizenship

Mikhail Timofeyev conviction vacated after accuser recanted, DA says

A gavel in a courtroom. (Pexels)

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County District Attorney Joe Gonzales on Wednesday announced that a man convicted in a 2010 family violence case is now exonerated after his accuser recanted.

Mikhail Timofeyev, 45, pleaded guilty to an assault charge after his boyfriend accused him of punching him in April 2009. He served 54 days in county jail. Records show the case against him was dismissed in March after a motion filed by the District Attorney’s Office last year.

Timofeyev’s accuser, who married him in 2016, sent letters to the court recanting his accusation, according to a news release from the District Attorney’s Office. Those letters were not disclosed to the prosecution.

The office’s Conviction Integrity Unit reviewed the case after learning of the letters. Witnesses told prosecutors Timofeyev had never been violent or abusive, according to the news release.

“This false allegation made more than a decade ago had long-lasting effects on Mr. Timofeyev. He pled guilty to a crime he knew he did not commit and spent time in jail. Many do not understand how someone could admit guilt when they are innocent, but it does happen. When these claims are made to our Conviction Integrity Unit, we work to find the truth and do what is right. I hope Mr. Timofeyev and his husband can finally put this behind them,” said District Attorney Joe Gonzales.

Timofeyev, who is a lawful permanent resident of the United States originally from Russia, can now seek citizenship with the assault conviction vacated, according to the news release.

“Mr. Timofeyev’s case stands as a reminder that it is never too late to do the right thing. The Conviction Integrity Unit applauds the bravery of witnesses who are willing to speak with us to ensure that no one has been convicted of a crime they did not commit,” said Matthew Howard, Director of the Bexar County Conviction Integrity Unit.

In 2020, the Conviction Integrity Unit exonerated four other people wrongfully convicted in Bexar County.

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