DNA Points to Minnesota Man’s Innocence


Newly discovered DNA points to the innocence of a man convicted of three murders in Minnesota. Billy Glaze, who is represented by the

Innocence Project of Minnesota

, the Innocence Project and the law firm Dorsey and Whitney, was convicted of the 1986 and 1987 murders of three young Native American women, despite a lack of physical evidence connecting him to the crimes. He has maintained his innocence since his conviction in 1989. Recent DNA testing not only excludes Glaze, but is also a match for a man who completed his sentence for the rape of another young Native American woman.


KARE-NBC St. Paul reported that when Kathleen Bullman, Angeline Whitebird Sweet and Angela Green were raped, murdered and mutilated in similar ways, police set out on a search for a serial killer.


Glaze was a known drifter with a criminal record and said to have frequently made derogatory comments about Native American women. He became a suspect in 1987. Two years later he was convicted and sentenced to three life sentences.


In 2004, he reached out to the Innocence Project of Minnesota seeking help to prove his innocence. The Innocence Project joined the effort in 2007 and in the following years, three separate labs conducted DNA testing on dozens of pieces of evidence from the three crime scenes. According to a motion filed yesterday, all of the tests excluded Glaze.


Innocence Project lawyer Olga Akselrod said, “In a case like this, where not only is it a violent homicide but there’s also a sexual assault involved, you would certainly expect to see some DNA from the perpetrator at the scene and we didn’t find any DNA from Billy Glaze.”


The tests revealed a profile of another man whose DNA was found at two of the murder scenes and on a rape swab taken from Green. DNA from a second partial profile was located on a fresh cigarette butt collected from the Whitebird Sweet murder scene.


“You look at the evidence that they were able to present against Billy Glaze at the time of trial. It was the best they could come up with, with the tools they had available at the time,” Julie Jonas, an attorney with the Innocence Project of Minnesota, told KARE-NBC.


According to Jonas, “If they would have had what they have now against this person who really did the crimes, he would have been the one who was arrested. He would have been the one on trial. Billy Glaze would never have gone to prison for all those 27 years.”


The man that belongs to the DNA profile was interviewed by police in 2012 when he was in jail for failing to register as a sex offender. He still lives in Minneapolis, and despite DNA evidence linking him to Green, he denied knowing or ever having sex with her.


Read yesterday’s court filing



Watch KARE-NBC’s segment and read the

full article


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