Man's Murder Conviction Tossed After 32 Years in Prison

Andrew Wilson plans to fly to St. Louis immediately to visit his elderly mother
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 16, 2017 4:01 PM CDT
Man's Murder Conviction Tossed After 32 Years in Prison
Andrew Wilson is congratulated by attorneys Laurie Levenson and Jacqui Rembis during a hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 in Los Angles. Judge Laura Priver ordered the release of Wilson, who spent more than three decades in prison for murder, after prosecutors conceded...   (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

After 32 years behind bars, Andrew Wilson had his murder conviction thrown out Wednesday by a Los Angeles County judge. His first plan as a newly free man? Fly to St. Louis to visit his 96-year-old mother, who never doubted his innocence. Wilson, now 62, was convicted in 1986 of stabbing a man sleeping in a truck in Los Angeles, KABC reports. According to the Los Angeles Times, the victim had a disorder that kept his blood from clotting. For the past three decades, Wilson has maintained that he didn't do it. And while his actual innocence is still up in the air, it's now official that he didn't receive a fair trial.

The DA's office has admitted that "cumulative errors" added up to an unfair trial for Wilson. Those errors include allegedly withholding evidence that the victim's girlfriend—the only witness to the crime—had previously filed a false police report regarding kidnapping and rape. Also allegedly withheld: evidence that an LAPD detective directed the girlfriend to a photo of Wilson and that a friend suspected the victim's girlfriend, as she had stabbed the victim in the past. The prosecutor in the murder case denies withholding evidence, and the DA's office maintains that Wilson murdered the victim (though it doesn't plan to retry him). CBS Los Angeles reports a separate hearing will be held to determine if Wilson is factually innocent. (Read more wrongful conviction stories.)

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