Man Convicted Of A 1978 Murder Exonerated After DNA Test Proves Innocence

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On Nov. 11, 1978, Craig Richard Coley’s girlfriend and her 4-year-old son were found dead in Coley’s partner’s Simi Valley apartment. Coley, now 70, was found guilty of their deaths and was sentenced in 1980 to life without parole.

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After reviewing the case in 2016 once an unnamed detective became suspicious of Coley’s verdict, D.A. Gregory Totten and Simi Valley’s police chief David Livingstone took a look into the incident and conducted tests on “biological samples.” From there, officials concluded that Coley’s DNA was nowhere to be located on any form of evidence.

Coley was recently pardoned by California Gov. Jerry Brown and was freed free from a Lancaster state prison on Nov. 22, ABC News reports. Brown even shared that Coley had model behavior while being locked up for 38 years.

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“As district attorney, I must tell you I look forward to the day when I can shake Mr. Coley’s hand, apologize to him for the injustice he suffered,” Totten said.