News Flash

Police Department Press Releases

Posted on: October 4, 2023

Keeping You Informed – James Harry Reyos Exonerated

James Harry Reyos was exonerated today in reference to a 40-year-old murder conviction. The Odessa Police Department is pleased with the decision made by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and is proud of the criminal justice community righting this wrong. 
Original Release from 2-2-23:
In December of 1981, a Catholic priest by the name of Father Patrick Ryan was murdered at a hotel in Odessa. The investigation eventually led to the arrest and conviction of a man named James Harry Reyos. In 2021, the Chief of Police became aware of public questions as to the guilt of Mr. Reyos. The questions were so compelling that Chief Gerke ordered the Odessa Police Department Special Operations Bureau to conduct a review of the case. During the review, Investigators developed serious questions as to Mr. Reyos's guilt. 


Mr. Reyos's conviction was based almost solely on a confession that he provided in New Mexico while he was intoxicated. He later recanted the confession. Furthermore, the investigation did not lead to any other corroborative evidence that substantiated the confession. In fact, the new review of the case revealed evidence that tends to show that Mr. Reyos could not have been present at the crime scene. Fingerprint cards within the original case file revealed latent fingerprints at the crime scene that did not belong to Mr. Reyos. This, coupled with Mr. Reyos's known whereabouts during the murder, led the Investigators to believe that another party (or parties) committed this murder.


Based on the facts found during this review, the Odessa Police Department presented its findings to the Ector County District Attorney's Office. The ECDA has also completed a thorough investigation and has come to much the same results as the Odessa Police Department. Both agencies agree that there is compelling doubt about James Harry Reyos's guilt in this case.

Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Police Department Press Releases

Robbery Investigation

Posted on: October 3, 2023


Posted on: September 15, 2023

Sexual Assault Investigation

Posted on: September 13, 2023

Annual Emergency Preparedness Event

Posted on: September 12, 2023

Remembering Corporal Abel Marquez

Posted on: September 12, 2023

Wreath Laying Ceremony

Posted on: September 11, 2023

Patriot Day 2023

Posted on: September 11, 2023

Homicide Investigation

Posted on: September 6, 2023

Annual Emergency Preparedness Fair

Posted on: August 31, 2023

“No Refusal Weekend” Operation

Posted on: August 29, 2023

OPD Testing Day

Posted on: August 28, 2023

“No Refusal Weekend” Operation

Posted on: August 24, 2023

OPD Testing Day

Posted on: August 22, 2023

Keeping You Informed - Fatal Crash

Posted on: August 18, 2023

UTPB Stem Academy PBL Launch

Posted on: August 18, 2023

Keeping You Informed – Phone Scam

Posted on: August 9, 2023

Odessa Police Department Testing Day

Posted on: August 7, 2023

Join OPD for “Tip a Cop”

Posted on: July 26, 2023

Carriage House Shooting Update

Posted on: July 11, 2023

Juneteenth Celebrations

Posted on: June 19, 2023

Criminal Mischief Investigation

Posted on: June 16, 2023