Newly Written or Updated Case Summaries

2nd Quarter 2009 Cases





Date of Alleged Crime


Marshall County, AL Guntersville Four Aug 7, 1920

Willie Crutcher, James Hudson, John Murchison, and Cleo Staten, all colored men, were convicted of the murder of John Franklin McClendon, a white man. All were sentenced to life imprisonment.  McClendon's body was found in a cave near the top of Brindlee Mountain, close to Guntersville, AL.  The convictions were due to the testimony of another colored man, Ben Nobles, who was arrested for the crime but not indicted.  After serving two years of imprisonment, Crutcher was killed by falling rock in a mine where he worked.  Hudson died of tuberculosis after having served three and a half years.

In April 1926, the victim's nephew, Otis McClendon, told his mother that the victim's wife, Myrtle McClendon, had confided to him of her desire to kill her husband.  Myrtle asked for Otis's aid and in return promised him 40 acres of land, a pair of mules, and a home as long as she had one.  They then both took turns shooting her husband and both transported his body to the cave where it was found.  In talking to his mother, Otis was distressed because Myrtle in no way kept her promise to remain loyal to him, but had went and married another man.  Otis then vowed he was going to kill Myrtle, her new husband, and himself.  Otis ran from his mother and attempted to carry out his vow.  He fired on Myrtle and her new husband, but was fatally wounded by a shot from the husband.

Due to Otis's confession, Murchison and Staten were released on permanent parole.  Staten was subsequently granted a pardon, but died a few days before it was granted.  Murchison, though admittedly innocent, was denied a pardon because he had a record of bad conduct in prison.  In 1931 the Alabama legislature awarded Murchison $750 for his 6 years of wrongful imprisonment.  (CTI)  [6/09]


Floyd County, IN David Camm Sept 28, 2000 (Georgetown)

David Camm, a former Indiana state trooper, was convicted in 2002 of the murders of his wife Kimberly, daughter Jill, 5, and son Bradley, 7.  Inside the garage of the Camm residence, the children had been shot to death while sitting in the back seat of the family's Ford Bronco.  Kim was shot to death next to the Bronco.  The residence was on Lockhart Road in Georgetown, IN.

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Boone County, MO Ferguson & Erickson Nov 1, 2001 (Columbia)

Ryan Ferguson and Chuck Erickson were convicted of the brutal murder of Columbia Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.  A janitor, Jerry Trump, caught a glimpse of two young white men running away from Heitholt's car around the time of the murder.  The janitor said he could not provide a detailed description of them.  Two years after the crime, after reading anniversary newspaper coverage, Erickson began telling friends he dreamed he had killed Heitholt.

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Fayette County, PA Crystal Weimer Jan 27, 2001 (Connellsville)

Crystal Dawn Weimer was convicted in 2006 of conspiring to murder Curtis Haith.  Haith, 21, was beaten and shot to death outside his Connellsville apartment following a late night party.  Hours before the murder, Weimer and about a dozen or so friends including Haith drank beer at her house in Uniontown.  At 11:30 p.m., one of the partiers drove Haith to Connellsville, 12 miles away.  Weimer tagged along but returned to Uniontown within an hour.  Haith partied at a Connellsville bar until 2:00 a.m., then invited some of the patrons to his nearby apartment. The last patrons left Haith's apartment about 4:30 a.m. Twenty minutes later, a neighbor called police reporting frantic screams from the area of Haith's apartment. Police found Haith beaten to death with a gunshot wound to the face in a lot next to his apartment.

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Davis County, UT David Valken-Leduc Oct 29, 1996 (Woods Cross)

David Jonathan Valken-Leduc was convicted in 2004 of the murder of Matthew John Whicker, a Motel 6 night clerk.  Whicker, 30, was shot multiple times and died in the motel lobby.  In 1996, police arrested Todd Jeremy Rettenberger in regard to the shooting.  Although Rettenberger knew Valken-Leduc, for five years he never mentioned Valken-Leduc's involvement in the crime.  In 2001, Scott Spjut, a Certified Latent Print Examiner, identified a bloody fingerprint found at the scene as belonging to Valken-Leduc.  Rettenberger then implicated Valken-Leduc in the crime.  In 2003, Spjut was shot and killed by a rifle he was inspecting at a crime lab.  The bloody fingerprint was then re-examined and found to belong to Whicker rather than to Valken-Leduc.

Rettenberger, who has twice pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Whicker's death, agreed to testify against Valken-Leduc in exchange for his immediate release from jail after spending 63 months there.  At trial Rettenberger testified that he drove Valken-Leduc, then 17, and another man, Elliot Rashad Harper, to the Motel 6 with plans to rob it.  Rettenberger stood outside and watched Valken-Leduc and Harper confront Whicker inside.  Something then went wrong, resulting in a scuffle and then gunshots.  He named Valken-Leduc as the triggerman.  Valken-Leduc testified that he had once had a loose friendship with Rettenberger, but that he cut contact after Rettenberger let a mutual friend take the blame for something Rettenberger had done.

Following Valken-Leduc's conviction, his defense attorney said that Rettenberger's contradictory confessions should have been introduced to the jury "to impeach his credibility." He also objected to the prosecution making inconsistent allegations in its trials of Rettenberger and Valken-Leduc, saying he believes such discrepancies in the trials of co-defendants are unconstitutional.

Harper, who also maintained his innocence, was subsequently tried, but his trial resulted in a hung jury.  In 2008, he pleaded to lesser charges and was released from custody.  Valken-Leduc said he told his mother before she died that he takes some responsibility: "I chose to be acquainted with Todd Rettenberger. That's a mistake I made and I have to live with it."

On June 16, 2009, Valken-Leduc's conviction was vacated and he was released from custody after entering an Alford plea in which he did not have to admit guilt.  He will be on probation for three years.  (DMN) (SE) (DMN 2009)  [6/09]


Lucas County, OH Danny Brown Dec 5, 1981 (Toledo)

Daniel Brown was convicted of the rape and murder of Bobbie Russell.  The crime happened in the Birmingham Terrace apartments in Toledo.  Brown knew Russell and had dated her a few times in the months preceding her murder.  Russell's 6-year-old son, Jeffrey, who said he caught a fleeting glimpse of the killer, gave a version of the events of the crime that was riddled with inconsistencies, factual impossibilities, and outright fabrications.  Jeffery's insistence that “Danny did it” led to Brown's conviction.  Years later DNA tests proved Brown innocent and identified the actual killer as Sherman Preston, who was serving a life sentence for a 1982 rape and murder committed under similar circumstances.  In 2001, Brown was freed from prison after serving 19 years of incarceration.  (CM) (IP) (HistoryMike)  [6/09]


Cheshire County, NH Gordon MacRae 1983 (Keene)
Father Gordon MacRae, a Catholic priest, was convicted in 1994 of raping Thomas Grover.  In the months prior to his 16th birthday, the then much older Grover testified that he had five weekly meetings with MacRae to discuss his problems and that he was raped at each meeting.  When asked by the defense for an explanation of why he would return for four subsequent sessions after having been raped, Grover cried, apparently on cue, while talking incoherently about having out-of-body experiences, and having "repressed" the memory of being raped from week to week.  A coaching therapist was barred from the courtroom after she was observed signaling Grover to cry, a complaint the jury never heard.  At sentencing, Judge Brennan cited MacRae's lack of remorse, his insistence on a trial, and his refusal to take proffered plea deals.  Brennan sentenced MacRae to five consecutive prison terms for a total of 34 to 67 years.  There is also a background story about MacRae that includes previous attempts to incriminate him using evidence completely lacking in credibility.  Subsequent to MacRae's conviction, Grover and others who made accusations against MacRae, but whose claims were never prosecuted, each received a six-figure settlement from the Diocese of Manchester.  (  [6/09]


Warren County, OH Ryan Widmer Aug 11, 2008
Ryan Widmer was convicted of murder for the bathtub drowning of his wife, Sarah Widmer.  The drowning occurred at the Widmer's home in Hamilton Township.  Police testified that when found, Sarah's body was drier that it should have been according to story given to them by Ryan.  This alleged discrepancy was basically the sole evidence against Ryan.  There was no known motive and no evidence that either Sarah or Ryan engaged in a struggle.  Sarah's family did not believe the charges against Ryan and held up Sarah's funeral so Ryan could attend.  Friends and family said Ryan had no known history of getting angry. They also said Sarah was known to spend hours in the bathtub and that she habitually fell asleep, even as she sat in a car on her way to social outings or during movies.  It is possible that Sarah suffered from an undiagnosed seizure disorder or narcolepsy.  Some jurors at Ryan's trial engaged in apparent misconduct by conducting their own drying time experiments.  ( (Google)  [6/09]


Summit County, OH Clarence Elkins June 7, 1998 (Barberton)

Clarence Elkins was convicted of the rape and murder of his 58-year-old mother-in-law, Judith Johnson.  Johnson was assaulted in her one-bedroom rental home on Summit Street in Barberton, OH.  The assailant also assaulted Johnson's six-year-old granddaughter, Brooke Sutton, knocking her unconscious before strangling and sexually assaulting her.  He left her for dead.  Later evidence indicated Sutton herself was the intended target of the assailant and Johnson was killed merely for being in the way.  Sutton, however, was not dead but regained consciousness after a few hours.

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Dauphin County, PA Jay Smith June 24, 1979

Dr. Jay Charles Smith was sentenced to death in 1985 for the 1979 murders of Susan Gallagher Reinert and her two children.  Smith was the principal of Upper Merion Senior High School (in Montgomery County) from 1966 until 1978 and Reinert was a teacher there.  He had a PhD and was also an Army Reserve colonel.  In 1978, he was promoted form his principal's position to work directly for the Upper Merion Area School District.

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Franklin County, OH Robert McClendon Apr 25, 1990 (Columbus)

Robert McClendon was convicted of raping his 10-year-old daughter, Rahshea Knaff.  Knaff reported that she was abducted from her backyard by a man who tied a sock over her eyes.  The man then took her to a abandoned house nearby and raped her.  Afterwards the man took her to a convenience store and went inside, leaving her alone in the car.  While he was inside, Knaff jumped from the car and ran home. 

Knaff did not tell her mother about the assault until the next day, when her mother noticed she was acting and walking strangely.  According to her mother's testimony, Knaff identified her assailant as her biological father, Robert McClendon.  Knaff was taken to a hospital which confirmed she had been assaulted.  When asked who assaulted her, she said, “I think it was my dad but I may be wrong because my eyes were covered.”  Testimony indicated that Knaff had only seen her father once in her life before the assault.

McClendon was convicted due to his daughter's testimony and due to the state's allegation that he had failed a polygraph test.  Years later in 2008, DNA tests were performed which showed that another man committed the assault.  McClendon was subsequently exonerated.  (IP) (Columbus Dispatch)  [6/09]


Lubbock County, TX Timothy Cole Mar 24, 1985
Timothy Brian Cole was convicted of raping Michele Mallin, a 20-year-old Texas Tech sophomore.  Mallin testified that she was kidnapped at knifepoint from the parking lot of St. John's United Methodist church about 10 p.m., driven in her own car to the city's eastern outskirts, raped and robbed.  She said her assailant smoked and identified Cole as her assailant, although as an asthmatic, he did not smoke.  In 1995, after the statute of limitations for the crime expired, a Texas inmate, Jerry Wayne Johnson, submitted a written confession to the crime.  Johnson's confession was ignored, and Cole never learned of it.  Cole was denied parole on his 25-year sentence by refusing to admit any involvement in the crime.  He died of asthma related causes while still serving his sentence in 1999.  In 2008, DNA tests showed that Johnson, not Cole, was the real rapist.  In 2009, Cole was posthumously exonerated.  (LAJ 4-8-09)  (LAJ 6-28-08)  [5/09]


City of Richmond, VA Victor Burnette Aug 3, 1979
Victor Anthony Burnette was convicted of a 1979 rape after the victim identified Burnette as her assailant, and a pubic hair found at the scene was reportedly consistent with Burnette's hair.  The 19-year-old victim reported that she had seen her assailant outside her apartment on the night following the rape.  Burnette lived near the victim.  The victim did not report the rape until three days after it purportedly occurred.  Burnette was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the crime.  He served 8 years and was placed on probation from 1987 to 1993.  Although Burnette was told that the evidence from the case was destroyed in 1987, a semen sample that came from the perpetrator was preserved by state forensic serologist Mary Jane Burton, who had a habit of retaining samples of blood, semen, and saliva evidence.  DNA tests on the sample in 2006 showed that Burnette was not the perpetrator of the rape.  In 2009, Virginia Governor Kaine pardoned Burnette.  (Times-Dispatch) (Washington Times)  [5/09]


Harris County, TX Ricardo Rachell Oct 20, 2002

Ricardo Rachell was convicted of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old boy.  The boy, lured by a bike-riding stranger promising him $10 for help cleaning up trash, was sexually assaulted in a vacant home south of downtown Houston.  The next day, the boy's mother saw Rachell riding a bike on Cullen Blvd.  She drove her son to the location and the boy subsequently identified Rachell as his assailant.  Testimony from the boy and one of his friends who saw the assailant served as the core of the case against Rachell.

During deliberations, jurors asked about the boys' testimony, sending written questions to the judge.  At least two wanted to know how the mother asked her son to identify his assailant and how the boy responded to her question.  The boy appeared to know Rachell not as a stranger, but from seeing him around his neighborhood as a man whose facial deformity, from of a shotgun blast years before, made him drool and appear "scary-looking."  The two boys never mentioned that their assailant had an obvious facial deformity.

After Rachell was incarcerated, similar assaults occurred on at least three young boys lured by a man who promised them money in exchange for performing a task.  Rachell's defense attorneys said they were never told that biological evidence existed in the case, but were later made aware of it.  DNA tests of this evidence confirmed Rachell's innocence in 2008, leading to his release after more than 5 years of imprisonment.  Rachell became blind from glaucoma during his incarceration.  He was officially cleared in 2009.  (HC #1)  (HC #2)  [5/09]


Franklin County, OH Joseph Fears 1983 (Columbus)
Joseph R. Fears, Jr was convicted in connection to a pair of rapes committed a week apart in Columbus, Ohio, in 1983.  An initial review of Fears' case by the Ohio Innocence Project could not go forward because biological evidence from the rapes could not be located.  However, the exoneration of another inmate, Robert McClendon, made such an impression on Franklin County prosecutor, Ron O'Brien, that he ordered a comprehensive review of the county's evidence room and case files.  The review turned up evidence from both rapes, although only one rape had material suitable for DNA testing.  DNA tests not only exonerated Fears, but it implicated a Michigan felon who has since died.  Further investigation revealed the Michigan felon was in the Columbus area at the time of the crime.  Fears was released in 2009 after serving more than 25 years of imprisonment.  (UC) (Columbus Dispatch)  [5/09]


Hartford County, CT Miguel Roman Jan 2, 1988 (Hartford)
Miguel Roman was convicted of murdering his girlfriend, 17-year-old Carmen Lopez.  Three days after relatives last heard from her on Jan. 2, 1988, Lopez was found bound and strangled in an apartment on Nelson Court in Hartford.  She was six-months pregnant at the time.  Roman's conviction was based on circumstantial evidence and testimony from Lopez's friends and family, and despite testimony from an FBI investigator about tests that eliminated him as a suspect.  It was alleged that Roman wanted to kill his unborn baby.  DNA tests performed years later showed that he was not the person who murdered Lopez and was not the father of her unborn baby.  The tests implicated another man, Pedro Miranda, who had been dating Lopez's cousin at the time of the murder.  Miranda is also accused of killing of 16-year-old Rosa Valentin in 1986 and 13-year-old Mayra Cruz in 1987.  Roman served 18 years in prison before being released in 2009.  (NB Herald) (NBC CT)  [5/09]


Dallas County, TX Jerry Lee Evans 1986
Jerry Lee Evans was convicted in 1987 of raping an 18-year-old Southern Methodist University freshman.  The victim was abducted on her way to go dancing in Deep Ellum, near downtown Dallas.  Evans said that his whole defense was that when victim saw him in court, she would say it wasn't him.  "Unfortunately, it didn't happen like that," said Evans.  The identification of Evans was facilitated by outdated Dallas police witness identification procedures that have since been revised.  In 2009, DNA tests exonerated Evans, making him the 20th person in Dallas County exonerated by DNA evidence.  Evans was released after serving 22 years of imprisonment.  (Dallas Observer) (Life)  [5/09]


Monroe County, AL Brian Baldwin Mar 14, 1977

Brian Keith Baldwin, a black male, was executed for the torture and murder of 16-year-old Naomi Rolon, a white female.  On Mar 12, 1977, Baldwin, 18, and Edward Dean Horsley, 19, escaped from a youth detention center in North Carolina.  Within hours of their escape, the two hitched a ride with Rolon in Hudson, NC, and drove to Alabama.  Presumably Rolon went to Alabama involuntarily as her original plan was just to drive across town.  Baldwin got out in Alabama and stole an El Camino pickup truck, while Horsley drove off with Rolon.  The two males may have planned to release Rolon and drive away in a car Rolon could not identify.  Rolon was subsequently found murdered, and a day afterwards, Horsley and Baldwin were captured by police.

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Pasco County, FL Richard Paey 1997 (Hudson)

Richard Paey is a pain medication patient who was convicted of drug trafficking.  In 1985, Paey was injured in a car crash near Philadelphia on the Schuylkill Expressway.  After a failed operation, he was left with metal screws in his spine and unrelenting pain.  He was also later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  Doctors could do little for the wheelchair bound Paey other than prescribe painkillers.  Over time as Paey developed a tolerance for the painkillers, he had to use higher and higher doses to gain relief.  Paey tried to cut back his dependence on painkillers, but to no avail as attempting to cut back simply meant enduring pain.

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Delaware County, PA Ronald Lewis Mar 2, 1998 (Chester)

Ronald Winston Lewis was convicted of murdering his 5-month old son, Shirron Lewis, by shaking him.  Shirron had been born premature and required a breathing monitor and as many as 10 medications to survive.  Lewis and Shirron's mother, Jackie Allen, had already lost another child, Darius Lewis, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome when he was nine days old.  Darius was born with a heart defect.  Shirron reportedly had seizures after he was born and Allen wondered if the hospital released him too soon.  Lewis is the father of at least nine children.

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Delaware County, PA Rickie Jackson Sept 1997 (Upper Darby)

Richard C. Jackson was convicted of the murder of 38-year-old Alvin Davis, his friend and former gay lover.  Jackson was a hairdresser who resided in West Philadelphia.  Davis was stabbed to death and his body was found nine days later in his second floor apartment at 422 Long Lane in Upper Darby.

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Suffolk County, MA Thomas Bram July 14, 1896

(Federal Case)  Thomas M. Bram was sentenced to death for murdering three people aboard a ship on the high seas.  The crime occurred about 2 a.m. aboard the Herbert E. Fuller, a cargo ship that was 750 miles into a voyage from Boston to Argentina.  The victims were the captain, Charles I. Nash, his wife, Laura A. Nash, and the second mate, August W. Blomberg.  All were hacked to death with an ax in the after house of the ship.

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Jefferson County, WI Whitewater Three Sept 5, 1998

Jarrett M. Adams and Dimitri Henley, both blacks, were convicted by an all white jury of sexually assaulting Shawn E. Stratton, a white female student at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.  A third black, Rovaughn Hill, was also charged in the assault, but his trial ended in a hung jury.  On the day of the alleged assault, Adams, Henley, and Hill, were playing video games in a university dormitory room with a student named Shawn Demain, whom they had met only that day.  According to Heidi Sheets, Stratton's roommate, both she and Stratton invited the three young men to their room four floors above.

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Middlesex County, MA Stearns Kimball Abbott Jan 17, 1880

Stearns Kimball Abbott was sentenced to death for the murder of Maria L. Crue.  The victim was shot to death in her farm home near Groton, MA.  A sleigh belonging to 16-year-old Jennie Carr was identified as being present at Crue's home on the day of the murder.  Carr said she had stopped to visit Mrs. Crue but had left when a man appeared at the door and said she was away.  Other witnesses recalled seeing a stranger with a scruffy beard and a mustache in the vicinity.  This stranger had stopped at a furniture factory not far from the Crue home, asked for a job, and given his name as Stearns Kimball Abbott.  He was a 40-year-old transient from Cambridgeport who had been in and out of prison for for burglary, horse theft, and forgery.

When Abbott was brought to trial, Carr identified him as the man she saw at the victim's house.  Abbott was convicted after his lawyers failed to locate any witnesses who could have established that he had boarded a Boston-bound train at Littleton more than an hour before the victim was last seen alive.  Abbott's appeal was denied in Feb. 1881, and his hanging was scheduled for the following April.  Soon after the appeal denial, a young factory girl in Lowell claimed that Carr had acknowledged that she had falsely accused Abbott.  A few weeks later, that girl's body was found in the Charles River, turning public opinion, according to the Boston Daily Globe, “strong against the verdict” in Abbott's case.

Shortly before Abbott's scheduled hanging, Massachusetts Governor Long granted a reprieve until June and appointed a council to reinvestigate the case.  After being called to testify, Carr initially denied rumors that she had been intimate with the victim's husband, Joseph Crue, and that she had given birth to a child.  However, after a physician who attended the delivery of her child testified, Carr acknowledged that she and the victim's husband had been romantically involved at the time of the murder, and that she had given birth to his child.  Following this hearing, Governor Long refused to declare Abbott innocent, but commuted his sentence to life imprisonment.  However, in 1911, more than thirty-one years after Abbott's arrest, Massachusetts Governor Foss granted Abbott a complete pardon and ordered his release from custody.  (CWC)  [4/09]


Mecklenburg County, NC John Wesley Benton Jan 31, 1942 (Charlotte)
On January 31, 1942, Blanche N. Jennings, a married white woman in Charlotte, NC, accused John Wesley Benton, a 33-year-old black man, of raping her.  In an agreement precluding a death sentence, Benton pled no contest to a reduced charge of assault with intent to commit rape.  He was sentenced to 15 years at hard labor.  In 1943, Governor Broughton granted Benton a full pardon.  The basis of the pardon is unknown because neither Benton's pardon application nor the pardon itself exists in state archives, and there were no contemporary accounts in the local press.  In 1947, North Carolina Council of State awarded Benton $715.30 for the seven months he spent behind bars.  Benton lived in Charlotte until his death in 1984.  (CWC)  [4/09]


Pontotoc County, OK William Awbrey Aug 4, 1931
(Federal Case)  On Aug. 4, 1931, the postmaster of Franks, OK, was beaten and robbed by two men of $28.72 in postal receipts.  The postmaster said he recognized William Awbrey as one of the assailants.  Both Awbrey and another man, Emmett Poe, were found guilty of the crime and sentenced to three years at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, KS.  In Aug 1932, Awbey filed an application for a pardon supported by an affidavit from Poe acknowledging his own guilt but identifying his accomplice as Lawrence Springfellow.  Springfellow was indicted for the crime the following month.  In Nov. 1932, Awbrey was released from prison after U.S. President Herbert Hoover granted him an unconditional pardon.  (CWC)  [4/09]


Cook County, IL Richard Johnson Sept 20, 1990
Richard Johnson was convicted of rape and robbery.  He was identified from police photos and featured on "America's Most Wanted."  The victim was a graduate student at the University of Chicago.  Prior to trial, tests showed that the semen recovered from a victim belonged to a man who had a different blood type than Johnson's.  However, Johnson's public defender did not bring up this evidence at trial.  In 1996, after DNA tests reconfirmed that Johnson was not the assailant, his conviction was vacated and charges were dismissed.  (CWC) (IP) (CM)  [4/09]


Newfoundland, Canada Gregory Parsons Jan 1, 1991

Gregory Parsons was convicted in 1994 of murdering his mother, Catherine Carroll.  Carroll had been stabbed 53 times.  Parsons was sentenced to life imprisonment.  His mother's psychiatrist and friends recalled her saying that her son, 19, had threatened her life.  Two years earlier Parsons been part of a band that sang a song called "Kill, kill, kill," about children killing their parents.  In addition Carroll had allegedly once sought a restraining order against her son.

In 1998 the Newfoundland Supreme Court acquitted Parsons after DNA tests proved he could not have been the killer.  Years later, following an undercover sting operation, police got Brian Doyle, a childhood friend of Parsons, to confess to the crime.  Doyle pleaded guilty to the crime in 2002 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.  Parsons was awarded $650,000 in 2002 and another $650,000 in 2005 for his wrongful conviction and imprisonment.  (CBC)  [4/09]


British Columbia, Canada Corey Robinson July 24, 1992 (Richmond)
Corey Lawrence Robinson was twice convicted of the murder of his neighbour and close friend, Lori Aiston.  He was sentenced both times to a term of 10 years.  Aiston was repeatedly stabbed, kicked, and beaten in her apartment on Colonial Drive in Richmond, then dragged and left to bleed to death on her two-year-old daughter's bed.  Her daughter was in the apartment with her the whole time, unable to do anything but watch.  The general details of the case give little reason to suspect Robinson's involvement in the murder.  The only evidence ever found linking Robinson to the scene of the crime was a microscopic amount of his DNA detected under Aiston's fingernails.  DNA found on a bloody paper towel found at the scene did not belong to either Aiston or Robinson.  It was only after a "so-called" confession made following heavy interrogation by Sgt. Don Adam, in December 1994, that the police were able to lay a charge.  In 2003, the British Columbia Court of Appeal dismissed Robinson's conviction on the grounds there was never any evidence to arrest him in the first place.  (Now) (R. v. Robinson)  [4/09]



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