Louisiana Man in Prison Since 1971 Freed After Judge Tosses Conviction
Nearly 50 years ago, a Louisiana was sentenced to life in prison in the kidnapping and rape of a nurse. But after a judge overturned his conviction, he is walking out of prison Wednesday morning a free man.
State District Court Judge Richard Anderson previously said the case against 65-year-old Wilbert Jones was "weak at best" and that authorities withheld evidence that could have exonerated him years ago.
Well, today he is finally getting his justice.
Jones was only 19 when he was arrested on suspicion of abducting a nurse at gunpoint from a Baton Rouge hospital's parking lot and then raping her behind a building on the night of October 2, 1971.
The state's case against Jones back then rested entirely on the nurse's testimony and her "questionable identification" of Jones as her assailant. The nurse, who died in 2008, picked Jones out of a police lineup more than three months after the rape. But she also told police that the man that raped her was taller and had a "much rougher" voice than Jones had.
Jones' attorneys claim that a prosecutor who secured his conviction had a track record of withholding evidence favorable to defendants.
Jones' family members are obviously finally ecstatic about his release.
"We will have the gumbo ready for him when he gets out," his niece Wajeedah Jones said.