News 06.19.15

Exoneree Edward Honaker Dies

Edward Honaker

Edward Honaker, a DNA-based exoneree who served 10 years in prison in Virginia for a rape he did not commit, died earlier this week.  He was 65 years old.

Called the “great poster child” of the innocence movement by the Executive Director of the Centurion Ministries, Kate Germond, Honaker and his case attracted national attention at a time when DNA testing, as a means to excluding individuals from crime scenes, was in its infancy, reports the

Roanoke Times

.

Honaker had been convicted in 1985.  A young woman and her boyfriend said that Honaker had attacked them and then abducted and sexually assaulted the young woman in the back of his truck. A forensic expert claimed that a hair found on the woman’s shorts was “consistent” with Honaker’s hair. Honaker was sentenced to three life terms plus 24 years in prison, according to the

Roanoke Times

.

But in 1994, the then-governor of Virginia, George Allen, pardoned Honaker after DNA tests, arranged by Centurion Ministries, excluded him as the perpetrator.

In the years following his exoneration, reports the

Times

, Honaker made the most of his life. Compensated $500,000 for his wrongful imprisonment, Honaker also worked as a self-employed driver. He married a violinist and remade his roots in Virginia. He enjoyed painting and writing, and even self-published two novels that he’d written while he was wrongfully incarcerated.  

Germond, who worked on Honaker’s wrongful conviction case, said that she’d seen him just last month at an event for Centurion Ministries’ exonerated clients and that he appeared to be in good health and happier than she’d ever seen him. But two short weeks ago, Honaker was diagnosed with kidney and lung cancer, reports the

Roanoke Times

.

The sheriff for Albemarle County told the

Times

that Honaker’s case shed light “into the dark abyss of our justice system, showing us things in that dark hole that many people didn’t want to acknowledge.”

According to Honaker’s son Philip, Honaker “was a genuinely great man, he harbored no hard feelings for the state or anyone involved in his conviction. He just loved having his freedom back.”

Read the entire story

here

.

Learn more about Honaker’s case

here

.

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  1. Bilko Glasier says:

    Ive seen this on Forensic Files several times before and just watched it again and this time for some reason I went further and looked up Mr Honakers name. I was very saddened to hear that he has passed away. His case always has stuck with me and I felt so bad for this man and i hope he is resting well

  2. KATHERINE PERKINS says:

    That’s really sad… What happened to the two timing cheating “girl’ that tried to hide her infidelities and screwed a man out of his life with children.., Justice???? I think not

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