reported that Everton Wagstaffe and Reginald Connor were fully exonerated on July 27th after the state’s appeals courts shut down prosecutors’ attempts to overturn the decision that cleared them of murder and kidnapping charges. The two men were wrongfully convicted in 1993 of kidnapping 16-year-old Jennifer Negron in Brooklyn. Wagstaffe served 23 years in prison and Connor served 15, both proclaiming their innocence and fighting for their freedom throughout their sentences.
The Innocence Project consulted on the case and aided in testing foreign hairs found on the victim’s body for DNA, which revealed that the hairs had not come from Wagstaffe or Connor. However, the ruling to dismiss their charges was primarily based on a revelation that prosecutors had buried evidence that Wagstaffe himself uncovered that police had targeted Wagstaffe and Capella before even speaking with the informant who provided critical testimony against the two men.
The Daily News
writes that throughout his 23 years in prison, Wagstaffe consistently refused parole offers because he did not want to admit guilt for a crime of which he was innocent. Now that he has been fully exonerated, Wagstaffe told the
“It still hasn’t hit me yet. I’m still coming to terms with my transition.” Connor, who was paroled in 2004, has also been removed from the sex offender registry as a condition of his release, and is “ecstatic this is all happening,” writes the