Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Joseph Buffey: West Virginia; The Associated Press covers a hearing in which prosecutors are opposing his release - even though a DNA test points to another suspect.

STORY: "Attorneys continue to fight to clear West Virginia inmate after DNA test points to another suspect," by the Associated Press, published by the Republic on July 10, 2013.

GIST: Attorneys for a West Virginia inmate who has served more than a decade for a rape his lawyers claim DNA proves he didn't commit are headed back to court to try to clear his name. Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Bedell is considering whether to overturn Joseph Buffey's conviction for the 2001 rape and robbery of an 83-year-old Clarksburg woman. Buffey pleaded guilty to the crime, but later said his confession was coerced. A three-day hearing begins Wednesday. Bedell could rule this week or could take additional time. A DNA test conducted on biological evidence left at the scene excluded Buffey as a contributor in 2011. Buffey's attorneys fought for more than a year to have the DNA run through the national criminal database. In November, authorities did so and it hit on another man, Adam Bowers, who is serving time for another assault and previously was convicted of breaking and entering. Prosecutors charged Bowers with the crime, but they are fighting efforts to free Buffey. Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Shaffer told The Associated Press last December that the DNA test didn't prove Buffey's innocence and that further investigation was necessary.
Shaffer argued that Buffey could have been an accomplice. But Buffey's attorneys argue the woman was with her attacker for several hours and suffered multiple attacks, all of which she testified came from one man. The victim will not testify during the hearing, but Bedell will hear from Buffey, police and several other witnesses. Buffey's attorneys say he confessed after eight hours of interrogation, giving facts that were "wildly inconsistent" with the crime. The victim did not pick his photo from a lineup even after his confession. They claim the then-19-year-old was pressured by his lawyer into pleading guilty, which resulted in charges involved in three break-ins being dropped."

The entire story can be found at:

See WBOY (12) story: "Harrison County judge hears testimony for Joseph Buffey hearing."......  "Former Clarksburg Police Officer Robert Matheny testified that he was present when Buffey confessed to being inside the woman's home and Buffey never said anyone else was with him."


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