News 06.20.11

New Suspects Named Three Decades After Wrongful Conviction

Three decades after a Florida man was wrongfully convicted of murder, cold-case detectives have revealed four new suspects. William Dillon was freed from prison in late 2008 after spending nearly 27 years behind bars for a murder DNA proves he didn’t commit. He was wrongfully convicted in 1981 based on a questionable eyewitness identification, unreliable testimony from the handler of a scent-tracking dog and testimony from a jailhouse informant.

Agents who conducted an 18-month investigation into the case have turned their findings over to special prosecutor, according to Florida Today and WKMG, Orlando’s CBS affiliate television station.

“Based on witness testimony, DNA results and a suspect statement, four suspects have been identified who are alleged to be directly responsible for the aggravated battery, which most likely led to the death of James Dvorak,” Sheriff Jack Parker said during a briefing on the case.

Results from DNA testing proved that Dillon’s DNA was not found on  a key piece of evidence, a yellow T-shirt that prosecutors all along claimed was connected  to the real perpetrator.

Blood on the T-shirt matched the DNA profile of the victim and biological material of another man was discovered on the collar and armpit of the T-shirt, indicating sweat or skin cells from the man who wore the shirt. The DNA profile developed from these areas of the shirt excluded both the victim and Dillon.

Investigators have now concluded the same yellow shirt that helped convict Dillon was actually worn by one of the newly named suspects, whose DNA matched sweat stains found on the shirt’s collar.

The Sheriff’s office revealed the names of the alleged suspects in an attempt to generate information that could assist the investigation. 


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