Chad Heins has been imprisoned for 13 years in Florida for the murder of his sister-in-law, a crime he has always said he didn’t commit. Based on DNA testing secured by the Innocence Project, Heins’ murder conviction was thrown out last December, but the prosecution is re-trying him for the crime. New DNA test results reported yesterday provide further proof of his innocence.
Heins has been an Innocence Project client since 2001, and DNA tests in 2003 first showed that an unknown man’s hairs were on the victim’s bed and the same man’s skin cells were under her fingernails. The new results show that semen from her bed also matches the unknown man. Prosecutors had previously argued that a stray hair from a stranger had accidentally ended up in the victim’s bedroom.
"It completely blows out of the water any notion that the sheet picked up a stray hair," (Innocence Project Co-Director) Barry Scheck said. "That is completely absurd."
Chad Heins' stepmother in Wisconsin said she is grateful for any news that bolsters his innocence but said waiting for justice has been frustrating.
"It's kind of like you don't know what to feel because he's still in there. You hate to get your hopes up," said Mary Heins. "It's like, how much more time before this is over?"
Read the full story
. (Florida Times-Union, 11/20/07)