innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Columbus Man Proves Innocence Again

This article was originally published in the Akron Beacon Journal:

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A jury ruled Wednesday that a man who spent 26 years in prison for bank robbery and the murder of a bank guard proved he is innocent.

Timothy Howard was exonerated in criminal court and released from prison in 2003. However, he had to prove his innocence in a civil case before he could seek a financial award from the state for the time he was behind bars.

The potential payment, based on $41,419 per year in prison, could reach $2 million dollars.

"I finally got what I deserved," Howard said following the verdict in Franklin County Common Pleas Court. "I'm just glad this is over with. This is a good thing."

Six of eight jurors, the minimum required, agreed with the verdict.

Howard and friend Gary Lamar James were 23 when they were convicted of the 1976 robbery of the former Ohio National Bank and the execution-style murder of bank guard Berne Davis, 74.

The convictions were overturned after new evidence was uncovered, including fingerprints from the crime scene, eyewitness statements that appear to contradict testimony at the trial and previously unreleased police reports. The items had not been made available to Howard and James' trial attorneys.

James has filed a similar lawsuit.