Federal Judge Tosses Virginia Murder Conviction



Michael Wayne Hash’s 2001 capital murder conviction was overturned Tuesday after a U.S. District Judge cited police and prosecutorial misconduct in his case. Judge James C. Turk noted, “the court is disturbed by the miscarriage of justice that occurred in this case.”


Hash was convicted of murdering a woman in her home with multiple gunshots. DNA testing from the crime scene matched the victim, but not Hash, who was then 15 years old. He was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. 


The prosecution had no physical evidence and instead relied on eyewitness testimony. One of the witnesses later recanted, saying that local authorities had fed him information about the case. 

Shawn Armbrust, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, said, “The court’s opinion validates what our client, his family, and his legal team have said from the beginning – that Mike Hash did not commit this crime and that the tactics used to obtain his conviction were reprehensible.  We hope the Culpeper authorities will now do the right thing and decide not to retry Mike, so he can go home to his family as quickly as possible.”

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