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Innocent Man Finally Gets Freedom After 20 Years In Prison For Murder

Innocent Man Finally Gets Freedom After 20 Years In Prison For Murder

After spending 20 years in jail for a crime he didn't commit, a US man has finally got freedom.

Horace Roberts was convicted for murder in 1999, but thanks to the California Innocence Project (CIP) he's been proven to be innocent due to new DNA testing of evidence from the crime scene.

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Credit: California Innocence Project
Credit: California Innocence Project

Horace was said to have killed a woman named Terry Cheek, back in 1998, when his watch was found near her body and because Horace had been having an affair with Terry.

Horace lied to police about the affair, simply out of shame and embarrassment. The police didn't see it that way and thought he was actually covering up the murder.

Horace would need three jury trials to be finally convicted of the murder of Terry. Prosecution used the watch and his inconsistent stories about his affair with Terry to convince the jury he was guilty. Finally he was found guilty of second degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

Credit: California Innocence Project
Credit: California Innocence Project
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After his conviction, and appeals, he contacted the CIP and for almost a decade they had DNA testing done. The charity conducted tests on the watch, Terry's fingernails scrapings/clippings, and a rope that was used to strangle Terry. It turned out there was no DNA on the rope, but the watch didn't belong to Terry, but one of his family members who did have evidence linking them to the murder.

The real murderer of Terry was arrested on October 12 and, finally, on October 15, 2018, the Riverside District Attorney agreed to a Finding of Factual Innocence in Roberts' case, closing this chapter of his life and allowing him to move on.

Video footage of Horace being released from prison is truly heartwarming as when he first exits he throws away the clothes he was forced to wear during his time in jail - an action symbolising his new-found freedom.

After this, Horace is then reunited with family members he hadn't seen in 20 years and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

Featured Image Credit: California Innocence Project

Topics: News, World News, US News, crime, Prison

Rachael Grealish

Rachael is a NCTJ qualified journalist from West Cumbria, with a passion for news, features and journalism. Outside of work Rachael loves plenty of coffee, running and reading.

 

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