stluciatimes, caribbean, caribbeannews, stlucia, saintlucia, stlucianews, saintlucianews, stluciatimesnews, saintluciatimes, stlucianewsonline, saintlucianewsonline, st lucia news online, stlucia news online, loop news, loopnewsbarbados

spot_img

US Man In Prison For 38 Years Freed By New DNA Evidence

spot_img

A US man who spent nearly four decades in prison for murder has been released after new DNA evidence pointed to a different person.

Maurice Hastings served more than 38 years in state prison for the 1983 murder of Roberta Wydermyer in California and two attempted murders.

But new DNA evidence instead pointed to another man who died in prison in 2020.

Now 69, Mr Hastings has been released from prison after his 1988 conviction was vacated on 20 October.

LA County District Attorney George Gascón described his conviction as a “terrible injustice”.

“The justice system is not perfect, and when we learn of new evidence which causes us to lose confidence in a conviction, it is our obligation to act swiftly,” he added in a statement.

Roberta Wydermyer was found in the boot of her car with a single gunshot wound to the head in 1983. She had earlier been sexually assaulted.

Mr Hastings was subsequently charged with murder and prosecutors sought the death penalty.

After a hung jury, a second jury convicted him and he was sentenced in 1988 to life in state prison without the possibility of parole.

At the time of the victim’s autopsy, semen was detected in an oral swab. Mr Hastings had maintained his innocence from the moment he was arrested, but a request for DNA testing of the swab in 2000 was denied by the district attorney.

Eventually he was able to put in a claim of innocence to the DA’s Conviction Integrity Unit in 2021 and DNA testing in June found that the semen was not his.

The DNA profile instead matched a man who had been convicted of an armed kidnapping where he placed his female victim in a trunk of a vehicle.

Following a court hearing on 20 October to vacate his conviction, Mr Hastings told reporters he wasn’t bitter and wanted to enjoy the rest of his life.

“I prayed for many years that this day would come,” the Associated Press quoted Mr Hastings as saying. “I am not pointing fingers; I am not standing up here a bitter man, but I just want to enjoy my life now while I have it.”

SOURCE: BBC News

Any third-party or user posts, comments, replies, and third-party entries published on the St. Lucia Times website (https://stluciatimes.com) in no way convey the thoughts, sentiments or intents of St. Lucia Times, the author of any said article or post, the website, or the business. St. Lucia Times is not responsible or liable for, and does not endorse, any comments or replies posted by users and third parties, and especially the content therein and whether it is accurate. St. Lucia Times reserves the right to remove, screen, edit, or reinstate content posted by third parties on this website or any other online platform owned by St. Lucia Times (this includes the said user posts, comments, replies, and third-party entries) at our sole discretion for any reason or no reason, and without notice to you, or any user. For example, we may remove a comment or reply if we believe it violates any part of the St. Lucia Criminal Code, particularly section 313 which pertains to the offence of Libel. Except as required by law, we have no obligation to retain or provide you with copies of any content you as a user may post, or any other post or reply made by any third-party on this website or any other online platform owned by St. Lucia Times. All third-parties and users agree that this is a public forum, and we do not guarantee any confidentiality with respect to any content you as a user may post, or any other post or reply made by any third-party on this website. Any posts made and information disclosed by you is at your own risk.

2 COMMENTS

  1. hmm all matters back in those years should be redone. So why didnt the district attorney want to do a DNA test? smh I hope yall know very well this guy is owed alot of money for the times he spent wasted in prison. and for those of you here that quick to call death penalty this is one of the things that could happen thats why we dont have a death penalty. Just imagine the justice system in saint lucia is already crappy and then you hang a man and found out later by new evidence that all along he was innocent

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

TRENDING

Subscribe to our St. Lucia Times Newsletter

Get our headlines emailed to you every day.

Share via
Send this to a friend