News 09.08.15

New Haven Man Released After Murder Conviction Vacated

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Connecticut Innocence Project

client was released from prison Friday after nine years in prison for a murder he did not commit, according to the Associated Press.

Bobby Johnson, 25, walked out of New Haven Superior Court after a judge vacated his murder conviction at the request of prosecutors.

Johnson was convicted in 2007 of the murder of 70-year-old Herbert Fields, who was fatally shot in an apparent robbery as he sat in his car. Johnson, who was 16 years old at the time, was interrogated without his parents present.  He was told there was physical evidence linking him to the crime, even though there was none. Police records from local murder cases which resembled that of Fields and which were all committed by another perpetrator were not disclosed to Johnson’s trial attorney. Officers told Johnson he would face the death penalty if convicted and promised him probation if he confessed. He pleaded guilty in July of 2007 and was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

Earlier this year, Johnson’s attorneys asked the New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office to re-examine the police and court records in Johnson’s case. They obtained the records on the other murder cases which were found to have been committed by another perpetrator. The chief state’s attorney’s office determined the conviction lacked integrity and dismissed the charges. Johnson’s attorneys say they expect him to file a wrongful incarceration claim with the state.

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