innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Friday, March 30, 2007

Wrongly Convicted Man Freed From Jail

This article appeared in the New York Times on March 30, 2007:

Wrongly Convicted Man Freed From Jail

Filed at 4:36 a.m. ET

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A man who spent 11 years in prison for a carjacking he didn't commit was freed Thursday after DNA analysis exonerated him.

Antonio Beaver, 41, arrived in court wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. Shortly afterward, he was wearing a sport coat and slacks, addressing reporters during his first moments of freedom.
''This feels strange,'' Beaver said. ''I'd like to give my thanks to God, because there is a God, and he knew I was innocent from the start.''

Beaver was convicted of robbery in 1997 and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
In the crime for which he was convicted, someone threatened a woman with a screwdriver and stole her car after a struggle. The woman stabbed the man with the screwdriver, leaving traces of the carjacker's blood in the car.

The victim identified Beaver in a lineup, but his lawyers say the lineup was flawed.
DNA testing at the time couldn't provide conclusive results, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said.

In 2001 Beaver filed his own motion for a new DNA test, and he was later assisted by the Innocence Project, a legal center that seeks to uncover wrongful convictions.

Beaver said he plans to stay with an uncle.