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Freedom…30 Years Later

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Rickey Dale Wyatt is a free man after 30 years in prison. Photo via the Dallas Observer.

After having served three decades behind bars for a crime that he says he did not commit, a Dallas man finally had his conviction vacated on  January 4.

Ricky Dale Wyatt was charged with aggravated sexual assault in a series of connected rapes that occurred in South Dallas and was given a 99 year sentence at his trial in 1981. However, Innocence Project lawyers discovered that essential evidence was suppressed in his 1981 trial.

Wyatt was 25-years old when he went to prison. He emerges a 56-years old grandfather, having his first opportunity to hold his granddaughter in his arms.

Researchers for the Innocence Project along with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office discovered that one witness claimed that Wyatt weighed much less than her attacker and had facial hair, unlike her clean-shaven attacker. This information was not presented at the trial to defense attorneys.

Wyatt went to prison protesting against his sentence and advocating his innocence. He even refused to take a plea bargain for a crime that he did not commit.

After a long three decades of his life lost behind bars, his protests were finally heard.

Click here for powerful video of the court proceedings that sent Wyatt to freedom.

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