Man Who Spent 17 Years In Prison For Murder He Did Not Commit Is Finally Freed
A man has been exonerated after spending 17 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.
David Morris was arrested in 2004, at the age of 18, in connection with the murder of Mustafa Carter. In 2005, Morris was found guilty and sentenced to life suspended all but 50 years.
However, on Wednesday, November 3, the conviction was thrown out by Baltimore Circuit Judge Charles Peters following a request from prosecutors to review the evidence. The review found Morris was wrongfully charged.
An investigation into his conviction began in 2018, by Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU).
The arresting officer at the scene of the murder was a key witness in the case, and identified Morris as being present at the location, according to Director of Communications for the State’s Attorney for Baltimore City, Zy Richardson.
However, it was later revealed the officer had a previous misconduct finding, CNN reports.
The CIU review also showed that another suspect had been identified and investigated prior to Morris’ trial but, along with the arresting officers’ history, it was never divulged to Morris’ defence attorneys.
That police officer was much later convicted of various crimes relating to fraud and placed on our ‘Do Not Call’ list, a list that we published last week, where we believe the officer is no longer credible to call as a witness in any case.
Moreover, the witness statement was proven to be contradictory and DNA found on the victim’s pants did not match Morris’.
The investigation weighed up ‘crime scene analysis, additional witnesses and attendant circumstances’, all of which pointed to Morris’ innocence, ‘when considered under a totality of circumstances’.
Michele Nethercott, Of Counsel at MAIP and former director of UBIPC, branded the evidence at Morris’ original trial ‘incredibly weak’. ‘Our post-conviction investigation unearthed even more evidence supporting his longstanding claim of innocence,’ she said.
‘We’re grateful to Mr. Carter’s family for assisting in the investigation despite the pain it must have caused, and we want to thank all former staff, students, and colleagues for their hard work. I look forward to seeing Mr. Morris as a free man later today,’ Nethercott added.
So far, the CIU have exonerated 11 people for offences they did not commit.
State Attorney Marilyn Mosby stated:
This case exemplifies the deeply damaging nature of the historical failures of the criminal justice system and our duty as prosecutors to address the wrongs of the past.
Mosby concluded by offering her ‘sincerest apologies’ to Morris and his family, for the ‘unspeakable trauma inflicted upon him as a result of this wrongful conviction’.
The investigation will continue to uncover the true identity of Carter’s murderer.
Addressing the victim’s family, Mosby pledged that authorities will ‘use everything in [their] arsenal to find’ the killer and that their ‘support networks stand ready to help everyone involved through their long and necessary journey of healing.’
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Most Read StoriesMost Read