Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Willie Grimes: North Carolina: Bulletin; Major Development; He has been awarded $3.25 million after serving 24 years for rape he didn’t commit..."During his original trial, prosecutors said a strand of hair belonging to a black man had been found on the victim. But the hair was never positively identified in court as Grimes’ hair, just the hair of an African-American man. Grimes said he was more than a mile and a half away from the crime scene at a house with friends, who all testified in court that Grimes had been with them that night. Other evidence never made it into the courtroom for jurors to hear, including fingerprints. Grimes was paroled in 2012 while still maintaining his innocence. His case was investigated by the N.C. Innocence Inquiry Commission, a state agency that hears post-conviction claims of innocence. An analyst testified before the commission that the fingerprints matched a different man, who had a lengthy record, including assault on a female. That man was in a Lenoir nursing home by 2012. Other evidence inexplicably disappeared, even though no one found any court order to destroy it. The Hickory Police Department found the fingerprint cards after the commission began investigating." Reporter Joe Marusak;Charlotte Observer