Clay Chabot has been in prison for 21 years for a rape and murder he has always maintained he did not commit, and new DNA evidence implicates a man who testified against him at trial. On Tuesday, police returned the alternate suspect, Jerry Pabst, to Texas after arresting him Monday in Ohio. He will face murder charges. Prosecutors, however, say they are still investigating the case to determine whether the new evidence exonerates Chabot. Pabst said at trial that he had been in the house on the night of the murder but that Chabot alone had committed the crime. Chabot has always maintained that he was not there that night, and Pabst’s testimony – now proven false by DNA – was the primary evidence against him. There is no credible evidence even suggesting that Chabot was involved in the crime and the Innocence Project says his conviction should be vacated.
Innocence Project Staff Attorney Nina Morrison told the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram that this evidence should overturn Chabot’s conviction:
"For 21 years, Clay Chabot has maintained he is innocent and that Jerry Pabst committed this horrible crime. That is exactly what the new DNA evidence shows," Morrison said.
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. (Star-Telegram, 08/01/07)