In 1993, Derrick Williams was sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and raping a woman in a Palmetto, FL, orange grove.
This past week, a DNA expert testified that evidence found on the assailant’s shirt, which was left at the crime scene, doesn’t match Williams’ genetic profile. Williams is being represented by attorneys from the Florida Innocence Project, who are seeking a motion for a new trial. Judge Mark Gilner will decide by Wednesday if Williams will be allowed a new trial.
Much of the other evidence in the trial was destroyed in a 2001 flood, so prosecutors originally opposed the Florida Innocence Project’s 2009 request for further DNA testing. The t-shirt described above, tested at an Ohio lab, and the victim’s pantyhose, are the only evidence still in existence.
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