Saturday 10 December 2016

Ex-sailor released after 33 years in prison for murder he did not commit

Published 08/04/2016 | 19:39

Keith Allen Harward, convicted of a 1982 murder and rape in Newport News, Virginia REUTERS/Virginia Department of Corrections/Handout via Reuters
Keith Allen Harward, convicted of a 1982 murder and rape in Newport News, Virginia REUTERS/Virginia Department of Corrections/Handout via Reuters

A man has been released from a US prison after serving more than three decades for crimes authorities now say he did not commit.

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Keith Allen Harward walked out of the Nottoway Correctional Centre on Friday after the Virginia Supreme Court agreed that DNA evidence proves he is innocent of the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife in Newport News.

Mr Harward was a sailor on the USS Carl Vinson, which was stationed close to the victims' home. The prosecution in Mr Harward's case leaned heavily on the evidence of two experts, who said Mr Harward's teeth matched bite marks on the woman's leg.

Virginia's attorney general says the DNA evidence implicated Jerry L. Crotty, a former shipmate of Mr Harward's who died in an Ohio prison in June 2006.

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