For 23 years, Michelle Mallin thought Timothy Cole had raped her in 1985. She had identified him in two lineups and he had been convicted of raping her and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He claimed his innocence, however, until the day he died in prison of asthma in 1999.
In 1995, another man, Jerry Wayne Johnson, starting admitting in letters that he committed the crime. His claims fell on deaf ears for the more than a decade. Last year, the Innocence Project of Texas began investigating the case, and new DNA testing indeed proves that Cole was innocent and that Johnson committed the rape. Cole’s family, along with the Innocence Project of Texas, is now pushing for his exoneration, and they have an ally in Mallin.
On Friday, Mallin visited Cole’s mother in Fort Worth, and asked her forgiveness.
"I have nothing to forgive you for. You were victimized, just like he was, my son suffered so much," said Cole's mother.
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. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 09/19/08)
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. (WFAA, 09/20/08)