In a new edition of Fox News Radio’s
Wiehl of Justice
podcast, Lis Wiehl examines a murder case for which two Maryland men may be wrongly incarcerated.
The Adeline Wilford Murder
,” Wiehl explains how David Ronald Faulkner and Jonathan David Smith, Sr. came to be sentenced to life in prison for the 1987 murder of 64-year-old Adeline Wilford. A third co-defendant, Ray Earl Andrews, Sr., was sentenced to 10 years for burglary in exchange for testifying against the two other men. No physical evidence linked the three to the crime, which had gone cold for 13 years, until Andrews agreed to cooperate after a witness claimed to have seen the three men fleeing from the crime.
In 2013, lawyers with the Innocence Project and the
Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project
filed a motion for previously unidentified palm prints on the sill of an open window and inside Wilford’s home to be compared to the Maryland fingerprint database. In March of 2014, the state’s attorney acknowledged that the prints matched an offender in the database but refused to disclose the identity for a year. When the identity was finally revealed a few months ago, the lawyers discovered that the prints matched to a Maryland inmate, Ty Anthony Brooks, who is currently incarcerated and has previously served prison time for a similar burglary in which it was alleged that he assaulted an elderly woman within months of Wilford’s murder.
In addition to there being no physical evidence linking the three defendants to the crime, a police recording of an informant that was not disclosed to the defendants reveals that the informant, now deceased, made an undisclosed deal with prosecutors to dismiss charges against her grandson in exchange for her testimony. Pending charges against the grandson were later dismissed. Although before trial, an assistant state’s attorney claimed in writing that DNA from Wilford’s fingernails belonged only to the victim, after the trial, prosecutors acknowledged that a partial DNA profile from Wilford’s fingernails did not belong to her or the three defendants. A full DNA profile could not be developed to implicate any suspect.
To listen to the podcast, click
This article was corrected on January 8, 2016.