One of the four men wrongfully convicted in the Norfolk Four case has finally been cleared.
Derek Tice was one of four former Navy sailors convicted of a 1997 rape and murder in Norfolk, Virginia, they say they didn’t commit. Tice and two other men were freed in August after Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine granted them a conditional pardon – the fourth defendant was freed in 2005.
Despite strong evidence indicating that the men are innocent, Kaine’s pardons were conditional and did not fully clear the Norfolk Four. Today, a federal judge threw out Tice’s conviction on the grounds that his defense attorney didn’t seek to suppress his alleged confession. The ramifications of the conditional pardon and vacated conviction are unclear at this point.
Tice's father, Larry Tice of Clayton, N.C., called (the) decision vacating his son's convictions "exceptionally good news," but said he is still not satisfied.
"What I eventually want is for all four members of The Norfolk Four to be totally exonerated," he said. "It's not just Derek. I want all four men cleared."
Read the full story
. (Daily Press, 09/14/09)
The evidence of the men’s innocence includes DNA test results pointing to a man who says he committed the crime alone. Prosecutors alleged at trial that the four men had confessed to killing 18-year-old Michelle Moore-Mosko in Norfolk in 1997, but the details of their confessions didn’t match and the men have since said they were coerced to confess.
Read more about the Norfolk Four case here