The Innocence Project received the devastating news this weekend that Nathaniel E. Epps, a client who was in the process of proving his innocence of a brutal rape for which he was sentenced to 153 years in prison, died in prison on Saturday.
Epps and Percell F. Warren, who also died in prison in 2012, were convicted in 1996 for the rape and assault of a 40-year-old woman, based solely on questionable testimony by an informant and a problematic identification by the victim.
In June, the Innocence Project submitted a brief to the Virginia Supreme Court with the results of DNA testing identifying sperm on the victim’s jeans from someone other than Epps and Warren.
The Virginia attorney general’s office opposed the petition, claiming that the sperm did not necessarily come from the perpetrators of the crime, even though the victim testified she had not had a sexual relationship for nearly a year and her ex-boyfriend of many years was excluded as the source of the foreign sperm.
The Innocence Project plans to continue to fight to exonerate Epps. Warren is represented by the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project.
Epps’ family is accepting donations for assistance to cover funeral expenses here.
Read more about Epps’ case here.