‘End of a very long nightmare’: The exoneration of Melvin Quinney

Melvin Quinney was wrongfully accused in the ‘90s. Cleared 30 years later, now he’s looking to make up for lost time.


In 1991 Melvin Quinney was sent to prison. More than 30 years later, a court has exonerated him of all alleged wrongdoing.

Quinney spoke with co-host Erica Hernandez about the excruciating journey for this episode.

See the video interview above or listen to the podcast in the embed below.

Convicted on false charges

Texas Crime Stories reported on Quinney’s case in our Satanic Panic series.

Quinney was accused of indecency with a child by his son and accused of being a Satanic cult leader.

The entire story was made up — his son later recanted — but Quinney was still convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Ultimately, he was released early in 1999 for good behavior. Still, Quinney had to register as a sex offender.

Melvin’s son John spoke to KSAT for the Satanic Panic series, and explained how the false accusations came to light during therapy sessions when he was young.

“I do know for at least a while I remember saying nothing happened, nothing happened and that wasn’t a good enough answer for them. And then at some point, I don’t know when it was, like I just started buying into it,” John said.

After more than 30 years, in April 2022, Melvin and his son went back to court and John recanted on record. Melvin was exonerated and discharged from the case.

“It was a long time coming,” Melvin said, adding that he was thankful to The Innocence Project of Texas, which helped get his name cleared.

New beginnings

In February, Quinney sat down with KSAT to talk about his life, conviction, reconnecting with his kids and now being able to live the life of a free man.

Now, he said he plans to move to the Dallas area to spend the rest of his life making up for lost time with his kids and grandchildren.

“I play Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Scrabble every day,” Melvin said. “I check out my finances and YouTube every day. Occasionally, I play the piano. I take my neighbor to work and take her to the store from time to time. It’s a routine life but it’s my routine. It’s a free life.”

More Texas Crime Stories:

About the Authors:

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. He is an amateur triathlete, enjoys playing and watching soccer, traveling and hanging out with his wife.