Victims of the State

Charles Roberts - See Marietta Seven

Baltimore City, MD 

Hank Roberts

May 11, 1991

Henry Myron Roberts was convicted of the second-degree murder of his nephew, 21-year-old Henry Robert Harrison, despite the fact that Roberts was critically wounded during the killing. Police found the murder weapon, a gun registered to Roberts, in Herring Creek Run, 1/2 mile downstream from Roberts' house. They argued that Roberts had thrown the gun into the run and that it washed downstream. Roberts argued that the gun could not have washed downstream since even during a rainstorm the run never exceeded 6 inches in depth.

Roberts was sentenced to 50 years in prison. He proclaimed his innocence in hundreds of letters written from prison. In April 2002, another man, Robert Tomczewski, pleaded guilty to the murder, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Prosecutors searched for Roberts to release him, but he had died in 1996. Tomczewski had shot both Roberts and his nephew and threw the gun, which he had stolen from Roberts a year before the murder, into the run at the location where it was found. It had never washed downstream.  (Justice: Denied)  [7/07]

 Harris County, TX

Anthony Robinson

Jan 1986

Anthony Robinson, a black man, was convicted of raping a white University of Houston student. He was picked up because the victim said her assailant was a black man wearing a plaid shirt. The victim, who was white, also said her assailant had a mustache, smelled of cigarette smoke, had no money, and that he apologized to her, saying he had just gotten out of prison and had not had sex in a long time. Robinson had no mustache, did not smoke, had $169 on him, and had never been to prison. The victim identified Robinson as her assailant when he was brought to her and at trial. Robinson's fingerprints did not match those taken from the crime scene.

Robinson was paroled after serving 10 years of his 27-year sentence. He then worked to pay for his own DNA testing and hired a lawyer who had him officially exonerated. Because he was a well thought of college graduate who served two years in the Army, a state senator employed Robinson as the “poster child” for a proposed Texas law to increase the compensation for the wrongly convicted to $25,000 per year of incarceration. The law passed and Robinson was awarded $250,000 under it.  (IP) (Frontline)  [5/08]

 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]

Los Angeles County, CA

Eric Robinson

June 25, 1993

“Eric Robinson was wrongly convicted in June 1994 of [murder in] a Los Angeles drive-by shooting [of Edward Fuentes]. [He] was sentenced to life in prison. In late 2006 Robinson obtained the LA Police Department records that showed he was excluded as a suspect within days of his arrest. Robinson had type "B" blood and it was known that the shooter had type "O". Based on the non-disclosed evidence proving his innocence, the LA District Attorney's did not oppose the dismissal of the charges against Robinson and his release from prison in early 2007, after 13-1/2 years of wrongful imprisonment.” – FJDB

Bernalillo County, NM 

Van Bering Robinson

Sept 10, 1980

Van Bering Robinson was convicted of murdering Albuquerque Police Officer Phil Chacon. Chacon was gunned down on his motorcycle at Wyoming Blvd. and Central Ave. while pursuing a vehicle driven by a man who had just robbed a Kinney's shoe store. Robinson was exonerated in 1983 after it was found that three Albuquerque police officers falsified information to frame him for the murder. Robinson was awarded $75,000 in 1985.  (Appeals)  [9/05]

Maricopa County, AZ

James Robison

June 2, 1976 (Phoenix)

James Robison was sentenced to death for the murder of reporter Don Bolles. Bolles covered organized crime for the Arizona Republic newspaper. He died shortly after a bomb exploded in his car, which was parked outside a hotel in downtown Phoenix. As he lay dying, he whispered, “They finally got me, the Mafia, Empise. Find John Adamson.” Empise was a corporation with ties to the dog track industry and suspected of being connected to the mob. Adamson was a well-known crime figure who was prosecuted for Bolles' murder.

As part of a plea deal in which he would receive a 20-year sentence, Adamson named several co-conspirators, including Robison. Adamson admitted planting the bomb, but said Robison detonated it. On appeal, Robison was granted a new trial. Adamson, though, refused to testify again against Robison without a new deal that let him out of prison immediately. Robison was released in 1980. The prosecution went after Adamson and secured the death penalty against him. In the course of the appeals from that sentence, Adamson agreed to cooperate once again and his 20-year sentence was reinstated.

Robison was recharged in 1990. At retrial in Dec. 1993, Adamson and a series of jailhouse informants testified against Robison. The jury also learned about new evidence that indicated Adamson was framing Robison to protect his true accomplice. The jury acquitted Robison of all charges.  (TWM)  [3/07]

 Los Angeles County, CA

Mario Rocha

Feb 16, 1996 (El Monte)

“Mario Rocha was wrongly convicted in 1996 of a murder and attempted murder that occurred at a party in El Monte, California in 1996. [The victims were Martin Aceves (dead) and Anthony Moscato (wounded).] Rocha, 16-years-old at the time of the shooting, was sentenced to 35 years to life for the murder and 29 years to life for the attempted murder. The California Court of Appeals affirmed his conviction in 1999 in an unpublished decision. Three exculpatory witnesses were discovered after Rocha's conviction and his state habeas corpus petition was based on his trial lawyer's ineffectiveness for failing to conduct an investigation and locate the witnesses prior to trial. On December 28, 2005 the California Court of Appeals overturned Rocha's conviction and ordered a new trial on the basis that his attorney had provided ineffective assistance of counsel for failing to conduct an adequate pre-trial investigation. After the California Supreme Court upheld the appeals court's order, Rocha was released on August 24, 2006 after more than 10 years of imprisonment. On October 28, 2008 the charges were dismissed when the prosecution announced they would not seek Rocha's retrial.” – FJDB  (In re Rocha)

Cherokee County, GA

Roberto Rocha

July 2, 2002

Roberto Rocha was charged with the murder of Katie Hamlin. Rocha, who is mentally disabled, confessed to being present when Hamlin was killed on July 2. However, passports and witnesses showed that Rocha had been with his missionary father on a trip to Brazil between June 10 and July 10. Rocha was released and charges against him were dropped after 15 months in police custody.  (Atlanta JC) (Primetime)  [9/05]

Honolulu County, HI 

Shaun Rodrigues

July 8, 2000 (Manoa)

Shaun Rodrigues was convicted of robbing Dawn Sugihara and her mother, Diane Sugihara, at gunpoint. Rodrigues had helped to install an alarm system in the victims' home two weeks before the robbery, during which time Dawn had served him a cold drink. The victims' initial statements cast doubt on whether they could identify the perpetrator. Nevertheless, they identified Rodrigues from a suggestive photo lineup in which his photo stood out. After both victims had picked Rodrigues, both had to be told that he was the man who helped install the alarm system.

No physical evidence connected Rodrigues to the crime. Rodrigues' family placed him at home on the morning of the crime. An identical robbery with the same M.O. happened nearby 10 days later when Rodrigues was incarcerated. In 2004, a prison inmate identified another person as the perpetrator of the crime. The inmate's story checked out in that the person he identified worked nearby and did not show up for work on the day of the crime. In May 2006, a fingerprint lifted from Diane's jewelry box was reportedly run through the national database. Later investigation showed that it was only run, unsuccessfully, against Rodrigues.

In 2006, the Hawaii Supreme Court upheld Rodrigues' conviction. Prosecutors plan to recommend to the parole board that Rodrigues serve his full 20-year sentence since he has shown no remorse.  (Honolulu Advertiser) (KGMB 9) (Website)  [9/06]

Philadelphia County, PA

Rodriguez & Weinberger

Jan 15, 1981 (Kensington)

Felix Rodriguez and Russell Weinberger were convicted of the murder of Dr. Clarence M. Langley, an optometrist. Langley, 63, was beaten and strangled in his office at 2520 Kensington Ave. His pockets had been pulled inside out and his credit cards were scattered on the floor. Both Rodriguez and Weinberger confessed to the crime after being interrogated by Detective Frank Suminski. Rodriguez, a 9th grade dropout, who did not speak English or understand the questions he was asked, signed a confession after a translator told him he could then go home. Three days later Suminski got a confession from Weinberger who has an IQ of 60 to 65. Both men spent 20 years in prison before two other men confessed to the crime. The judge who heard the new evidence said there was no doubt that the two new men were involved in the crime.  (Phila. Inquirer)  [11/05]

 Harris County, TX

George Rodriguez

Feb 24, 1987

George Rodriguez was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl largely because his name was George. The victim had told police that one of the perpetrators called the other George, but she did not think it was his real name because they had discussed using fake names. Rodriguez's co-defendant identified a man named Yanez as his partner, but Yanez was not charged presumably because Rodriguez was in custody while Yanez was not. A prosecutor told Rodriguez's jury that blood type matching eliminated Yanez as a suspect. Later tests showed a blood type consistent with Yanez. DNA tests exonerated Rodriguez in 2005. Because of the statute of limitations, Yanez cannot be charged with the 1987 crime.  (IP) (TruthInJustice) (HC)  [12/05]

Santa Clara County, CA

Jeffrey Rodriguez

Dec 10, 2001

“Jeffrey Rodriguez was wrongly convicted in 2002 of a December 2001 robbery of a San Jose auto parts employee based on the victim's identification of Rodriguez, and a crime lab technician's testimony that a stain on Rodriguez's pants was from oil. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. California's Sixth District Court of Appeal vacated the conviction and ordered a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel. After Rodriguez's first trial resulted in a hung jury that voted 11-1 to acquit, he ran out of money and his lawyer didn't call any witnesses at his retrial. Those witnesses included an expert who had determined Rodriguez was a victim of mistaken identity, and alibi witnesses.”

“After Rodriguez's conviction, his trial lawyer was suspended from practicing law on September 16, 2004 by the California Bar Association for reasons unrelated to Rodriguez's case. In April 2006 an arrest warrant for the lawyer, Paul Raj Gideon, was issued by Santa Clara County, after Gideon failed to appear for his trial on charges of practicing law without a license and drug possession. On January 5, 2008 the California Supreme Court disbarred Paul Raj Gideon from practicing law in California. The victim of the robbery and sole eyewitness signed a statement claiming the police and prosecutors pressured him to fit his narrative of the crime to fit the evidence, and an independent lab discovered that the stain on Rodriguez's pants was not oil. With no evidence Rodriguez was the robber, the charges against Rodriguez were dismissed by the San Jose District Attorney's Office on February 5, 2007, and Rodriguez was released after more than five years of wrongful imprisonment. ... In August 2009 Santa Clara County agreed to pay Rodriguez $1 million to settle his federal civil rights lawsuit against Santa Clara County.” – FJDB

Hampden County, MA 

Santos Rodriquez

Jan 25, 1954 (Springfield)

Santos Rodriquez was convicted of the murder of 43-year-old Mildred Hosmer. Hosmer had been smothered with a pillow in a Springfield rooming house. Police learned that Hosmer had been drinking in the Franklin Grille earlier in the evening, and they picked up Rodriquez, who was the busboy there, for questioning. Rodriquez, a Puerto Rican who spoke little English, signed a confession he contended was coerced. In Jan. 1956, another man, Lucien Peets, confessed to Hosmer's murder. Rodriquez was pardoned in April 1957. In 1958 the legislature awarded Rodriquez $12,500.  (CIPM)  [11/05]

 Suffolk County, MA

James Rodwell

Dec 3, 1978 (Somerville)

James Rodwell was convicted in 1981 of the murder of Louis Rose, Jr., a drug dealer and the son of a Burlington police captain. No physical evidence linked Rodwell to the crime. The case against him relied on two witnesses: (1) Frankie Holmes, an immunized witness who drove the victim to the murder scene and drove away after the murder. (2) David Nagel, a prison informant, who had the opportunity to confer with Holmes prior to trial, when the two were incarcerated together. Both witnesses faced multiple life felony convictions on various charges.

At trial, Holmes' testimony conflicted with earlier statements he had given to investigators and the grand jury. Both witnesses' testimonies were riddled with discrepancies, inconsistencies, and errors. Nagel was a career informant. He had been charged with 37 armed robberies in the 1970s, a number which grew to 59 by the mid-1980s. He managed to sidestep lengthy sentences by aiding the police with tips and testimony. In prison, Rodwell had to endure taunts by other inmates, taunts that usually ended with the refrain, “Another one that Nagel got.”

The prosecution withheld a police report on a witness who stated another person committed the crime. The prosecutor and the state police told the witness, “If you remember what you saw, you will be charged as an accessory.”  (Website)  [2/08]

Nye County, NV 

Shasta Roever

Jan 17, 1993 (Pahrump)

“Shasta” Lerlene Evonne Roever was charged with murdering her live in fiancé, Ian Wilhite, in part because Wilhite was shot with a .22 caliber bullet and she owned a .22 caliber gun, although ballistics soon ruled out her gun. Wilhite had moved to Pahrump from Las Vegas because his life had been threatened there. At trial the key witness and main investigator lied on direct examination and impeached their testimony on cross-examination. Throughout the trial, this investigator fraternized with the jurors in the jurors lounge, not just on the day he testified. His excuse was that it was the only smoking area in the court building. Roever was convicted but the Nevada Supreme Court overturned the conviction and noted, “There was no physical evidence to link the defendant to the crime.”

At the second trial Roever insisted on testifying, but her public defender avoided or refused to ask important questions regarding her husband's background and associates. The subject was not even broached. Roever's public defender refused to subpoena anyone on the two-page list of witnesses that she gave him and even insulted her uncle, the only witness that was there for her. This time the DA admitted there was no evidence, so he felt justified in trying her based on whatever stories or opinions his witnesses could fabricate about her.

As an example, one witness testified that Roever had stated she had killed her own mother and a baby. Roever had shared with this witness the story of the drowning death of her mother and the story of the death of her child who was asphyxiated during delivery by his own umbilical cord. Roever had an ex-husband whom she had thrown out years before for lying and stealing; his relatives were there to testify. The ex-husband's mother who once told Roever she was in love with her fiancé (the murder victim) and wished he would be interested in older women, told some tales that Roever hadn't a clue about. Even though the jurors stated their concern about the lack of evidence, Roever was convicted again. Later the Chief Deputy DA argued in his response to the Nevada Supreme Court that ultimately, the truth behind the stories is immaterial. In fact, he said, prosecutors assumed the stories weren't true.

Roever has repeatedly been offered plea bargains which would have allowed her to get out years ago, so maintaining her conviction is a matter of pride for prosecutors rather than a feeling that she must be locked up as a danger to society.  (Justice: Denied)  [6/05]

Los Angeles County, CA

Fred Rogers


Courtney Fred Rogers was sentenced to death for the murders of his parents. In Oct. 1941 his 50-year-old father was rescued from a burning house, but later died of smoke inhalation. Investigators found burning candles in the house and determined that fires had been set in several rooms. The death of Rogers Sr. was ruled a suicide. Eight months earlier, Rogers' mother had died from the inhalation of chloroform. Her death had also been ruled a suicide.

Four months after the death of his father, Rogers was arrested for making a false $400 insurance claim. Police found that the 24-year-old was heavily in debt and began to wonder if he had killed his parents in order to collect on life insurance. Rogers, however, received no insurance proceeds for the death of his mother, although he did receive full ownership of the home he had jointly owned with her. He received only $1000 for the death of his father plus $2300 for damage to the house. Such proceeds were small compared to Rogers' debts.

After 16 days of more-or-less continuous questioning by police, Rogers confessed to the murders of his parents, a confession that he soon retracted. Nevertheless, he was convicted of these alleged murders. In 1943, the California Supreme Court unanimously threw out Rogers' convictions. Evidence that his mother had committed suicide was clear and convincing. The same was true in regard to the death of his father. Neighbors had testified at how despondent Rogers Sr. was over the death of his wife and how he often had spoken of taking his own life. Neighbors also said he had spoken of his dread of being left alone, after Rogers Jr., his only son, answered a draft call into the army. Rogers Jr. was scheduled to report the day after the fatal fire. At retrial, in the face of no evidence against Rogers, the retrial court dismissed charges.  (ISI) (Time)  [2/09]

Anne Arundel County, MD 

Laura Rogers' Daughter


The unnamed daughter of Laura Rogers was convicted as a 16-year-old of filing a false police report after accusing her stepfather of raping her. Later the girl told her mother that her stepfather had made a videotape of the rapes, and after finding and viewing the tape, the mother, Laura Rogers, shot her husband to death that night while he was sleeping. After seeing the evidence, prosecutors agreed to vacate the girl's conviction. Laura Rogers pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served six months in jail.  (Seattle Times)  [10/05]

Petersburg, VA 

Silas Rogers

July 18, 1943

Silas Rogers was sentenced to death for the shooting murder of Robert B. Hatchell, a police officer. Two police officers chased a stolen car through Petersburg, VA and forced it into a ditch. The driver escaped on foot and was pursued by one officer, R. B. Hatchell. The other officer stayed behind to guard the car's two passengers. The passengers were two AWOL soldiers. A half-hour later, two shots rang out and Officer Hatchell was found dead.

Police then combed the area and picked up a black hitchhiker named Silas Rogers. They got Rogers to confess that he had stolen the car in Raliegh, NC and had shot the cop. A judge would not allow Rogers' confession to be used at trial because there was clear evidence that it was obtained through third degree methods. However, at trial the soldiers identified Hatchell as the man who picked them up in the stolen car. Rogers was convicted.

The NAACP reviewed the case and thought the evidence was weak. They found a witness who corroborated Rogers' story that he arrived in Petersburg by train. As a result Rogers' death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. Then a fellow convict told Rogers of Argosy magazine's “Court of Last Resort,” an investigative agency that worked to free wrongfully convicted inmates. Rogers wrote to Argosy and got them to work on his case. Jack Kirkpatrick, an editorial writer for the Richmond News-Leader also began an investigation. Working with Argosy, Kirkpatrick assembled a mass of evidence and affidavits to show the two soldiers had perjured themselves at Rogers' trial.

The soldiers testified that they shared cigarettes with Rogers in the stolen car. However, Kirkpatrick proved that Rogers never smoked. He also proved that Rogers could not have driven the stolen car, as he had never learned to drive. The only remaining piece of evidence against Rogers was testimony that his coat was found in the stolen car. When an Argosy investigator found and questioned the witness who gave that testimony, the witness quickly changed his story and acknowledged that Rogers' coat was brown while the coat found in the stolen car was blue. Virginia Governor Battle pardoned Rogers on Dec. 23, 1952.  (Argosy) (Time)  [7/07]

 Cook County, IL

Lafonso Rollins

Jan 9, 1993

Lafonso Rollins was convicted of raping an elderly Chicago woman. He initially confessed in writing because it was the only way to stop being struck and threatened by the detectives questioning him. He immediately recanted his confession. DNA tests exonerated him in 2004 and Gov. Blagojevich pardoned in him 2005. In 2006, Rollins was awarded $9 million for his 11 1/2 years of wrongful imprisonment.  (IP) (IDOCS) (JD)  [9/06]

San Juan, Puerto Rico 

Jonathan Roman

Sept 23, 2005

Jonathan Roman Rivera was convicted of the murder of Adam Anhang. Anhang was a wealthy real-estate investor, an online gambling executive, and a native of Winnipeg, Canada. He was stabbed and beaten to death along the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan as he and his wife walked from the Pink Slip restaurant to their car. His wife, Aurea Vazquez Rijos, was wounded in the assault.

Witnesses identified Roman as the assailant, although Vazquez disagreed. Roman was sentenced to 105 years in prison. Following Roman's conviction, FBI investigators determined that Vasquez had offered another man, Alex Pabon Colon, $3 million to kill her husband. The FBI believed that Pabon had agreed to the offer and that he carried out the murder for hire. Reportedly, Roman and Pabon could easily be mistaken for one another, so it is believed that Roman was a victim of mistaken identity. Roman was released from prison in June 2008 after having spent 8 months imprisoned. Charges against him were dropped 3 months later.  (Dateline Video) (CBC) (Rivera v. Diaz)  [8/09]

 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 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]

Jesus “Jesse” Romero - See San Benito Three

Summit County, OH

Michael Roper

Apr 17, 2000

Michael Roper was convicted of the murder of Taleb “Tom” Husein. Husein owned a Lakeshore Boulevard convenience store and was killed during an aborted robbery attempt. Roper was identified as the murderer by Husein's girlfriend and by a doughnut deliveryman. A jail inmate also testified that Roper confessed to the killing.

Roper first three trials ended in hung juries as jurors could not agree on a verdict. He was convicted at his fourth trial. Since Roper's conviction, evidence has surfaced identifying three alternative suspects, which prosecutors knew about prior to Roper's trial. One of the suspects is said to closely resemble Roper. A source told Akron police a week after Roper's arrest, that the alternative suspect is “off his script (insane) and has a heart of coal and killing would (be) easy for him, if someone doesn't end up killing him first.”

Prosecutors say the alternative suspect evidence was in a file they shared with Roper's defense attorneys, but the defense attorneys disagree. Apparently prosecutors were playing “hide and seek” with the evidence. According to defense attorney Jana DeLoach, “There's no question the jury would have found reasonable doubt as to Mr. Roper's guilt and they would have acquitted him had they been told about the other suspects.” In 2005, a judge denied Roper's request for a fifth trial.  (Akron Beacon Journal)  [10/07]

Bronx County, NY

Richard Rosario

June 19, 1996

Richard Rosario was convicted of the shooting murder of Jorge Collazo. No physical evidence linked him to the crime, but two eyewitnesses identified him. However, abundant alibi evidence indicates that Rosario was living 1070 miles away in Deltona, Florida at the time of the crime. Rosario's trial lawyers failed to send an investigator to Florida to gather this evidence. Despite a post-conviction gathering of evidence, appeals courts have failed to provide him relief. Rosario is still imprisoned as of 2010.  (JD)  [10/07]

 Cook County, IL

Roscetti Four

Oct 18, 1986

Marcellius Bradford, 17, Calvin Ollins, 14, Larry Ollins, 16, and Omar Saunders, 18, were accused and convicted of the kidnapping, rape, and murder of 23-year-old Rush University medical student Lori Roscetti. Bradford testified against the others in exchange for a 12-year sentence. A friend of Bradford provided additional testimony including a confession by Saunders. Bradford later recanted his statements, saying police coerced him into falsely confessing and that he did so to avoid a life sentence.

Crime lab analyst Pamela Fish testified that semen found on the victim's body could have belonged to the Ollinses, but a recent examination of her notes by a DNA expert showed that none of the four boy's blood types matched the crime scene samples. In 2001, DNA tests exonerated all four and all were released except Bradford who was initially released after 6 1/2 years but was reincarcerated on an unrelated charge. The case was profiled on a This American Life episode entitled “Perfect Evidence.” The defendants were awarded $120,000 from the State of Illinois in 2003. Calvin Ollins was additionally awarded $1.5 million from the City of Chicago in 2003.  (CWC) (IP1) (IP2) (IP3) (IP4)  [6/05]

Pinellas County, FL 

Milo Rose

Oct 16, 1982

Milo Rose was sentenced to death for the murder of 28-year-old Robert “Butch” Richardson. The crime occurred in a vacant lot in downtown Clearwater. The prosecution withheld evidence that its key witness against Rose was the actual murderer.  (Info) (85) (93) (00)

San Joaquin County, CA

Peter Rose

Nov 29, 1994 (Lodi)

Peter Rose was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl. For three weeks, the victim maintained that she did not know who her assailant was. Then after a three-hour taped interrogation, police told her she was lying and threatened to dismiss the case if she did not identify her assailant. Family members who disliked Rose, who was their neighbor, pressured her into identifying him. Rose's blood type did not match the semen on the victim's underwear, but the semen sample was deemed too small to conclusively rule him out. Rose served 9 years of a 27-year sentence before DNA testing exonerated him in 2004. In 2005, Rose was awarded $328,200 for the 3282 days that he was wrongfully imprisoned. In 2007, Rose was awarded an additional $1 million combined from the local, county, and state governments.  (IP)  [7/05]

Summit County, OH

Denny Ross

May 20, 1999

Denny Frederick Ross was tried in Akron for the murder of 18-year-old Hannah Hill. Hill had disappeared one night and her body was found stuffed in the trunk of her Geo Prizm six days later. She had been beaten and strangled. Her body was found naked from the waist down and her bra and shirt were pushed up over her breasts. This display of her body suggested she was raped, but an autopsy found no evidence of rape and also determined that she was wearing her corduroy pants when she died. Hill had been romantic with Ross on the night of her disappearance and one theory of her murder is that her jealous and abusive boyfriend, Brad O'Born, had killed her for her infidelity. O'Born had scratch marks on his neck when police questioned him in the days following her disappearance.
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Orleans Parish, LA 

Johnny Ross

July 1974

Johnny Ross, a 16-year-old black juvenile, was convicted at a three hour trial and sentenced to death for the rape of a white woman. The trial consisted of the prosecution's claim that Ross had signed a confession after the victim had identified him. Ross maintained that he had signed a blank piece of paper after his interrogators beat him. On appeal, his death sentence was commuted to a term of years. Years later tests revealed that the rapist's semen did not match Ross's blood type. Based on this new evidence, the New Orleans DA agreed to drop charges and Ross was released from prison in 1981.  (DPIC)  [7/05]

Dallas County, TX 

Darlie Routier

June 6, 1996 (Rowlett)

Darlie Routier and two of her sons were attacked by an intruder in their Rowlett home at 5801 Eagle Drive. The two sons died. The prosecution claimed the attack was staged and convicted Routier of murders. An investigator took steps to steer the investigation away from his son, who is now in prison for other violent crimes. Prosecutors and the courts continue to stonewall against turning over or testing evidence that will prove her innocence. A book was written about the case entitled Media Tried, Justice Denied by by Christopher Wayne Brown.  (American Justice) (JD#1) (JD#2) ( (ODR)  [6/05]