DeMarlo Berry Spent Half of His Life in Prison for Crime He Didn’t Commit
06.30.17 By Innocence Staff
Earlier this week, DeMarlo Berry—a 42-year-old Las Vegas man convicted of murder in 1995— was exonerated and freed. A Clark County judge overturned his conviction based on new evidence secured by Berry’s attorneys in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center which revealed his innocence. Prosecutors decided to dismiss the case.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Berry was convicted and sentenced to life for the 1994 deadly shooting of Charles Burkes, but he’s long maintained his innocence.
Several years ago, Berry’s attorneys submitted to the court a 2013 affidavit from a man named Steven Jackson who claimed responsibility for the shooting. Berry had previously identified Jackson as the person who killed Burke.
The attorneys also submitted a statement by a witness who said that Jackson had confessed to her that he’d committed the murder. There was also a statement from a jailhouse informant who said that he’d falsely testified—in exchange for a plea deal with prosecutors—that Berry had confessed to the crime.
As a result of that new evidence, prosecutors reviewed Berry’s case and reached the conclusion that he was innocent.
“In this case, a confession by Mr. Jackson, and verification of that and other information by our CRU [Conviction Review Unit], resulted in our decision to no longer oppose Mr. Berry’s request for conviction relief,” said District Attorney Steve Wolfson to the Journal.