FourWinds10.com - Delivering Truth Around the World
Custom Search

Oklahoma Man Exonerated After Serving 26 Years for a Murder DNA Evidence Proves He Didnít Commit

Smaller Font Larger Font RSS 2.0

6-13-18

(Oklahoma City – June 11, 2018) With the consent of the Oklahoma County District Attorney, district court judge Glenn M. Jones vacated the 1992 murder conviction and dismissed the charges against Johnny Edward Tallbear based on new DNA evidence proving his innocence. Tallbear served 26 years for murder based on the erroneous statements of an alleged eyewitness who claimed to have seen Tallbear fighting with the victim but later expressed doubts about his identification.

Support Tallbear as he transitions home via Amazon Wishlist

“We are grateful to District Attorney David Prater and Assistant District Attorney Jen Hinsperger for collaborating with us to secure DNA testing in this case, and for expeditiously moving to vacate Mr. Tallbear’s conviction once the results were obtained,” said Karen Thompson, a senior staff attorney with the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law.

“I’ve been saying for more than two decades that I didn’t have anything to do with this horrible crime. I’ve always known that I’m innocent and now the DNA has proved it.”

“The DNA proving Mr. Tallbear’s innocence was pivotal to bringing an end to his wrongful incarceration.”

“I’ve been saying for more than two decades that I didn’t have anything to do with this horrible crime. I’ve always known that I’m innocent and now the DNA has proved it,” said Tallbear.

On October 3, 1991, the body of a homeless man, known as “Pops” (there was no identification on the body), was found on top of a pile of garbage near a deserted building in an area of Oklahoma City frequented by a homeless population. The man had been brutally stabbed and beaten. The pockets of his pants were turned inside out and had small bloodstains on them. Police also collected several pieces of torn up paper bag left on the ground near to the victim’s body that they believed had been used to “staunch a wound.”

Tallbear became a suspect after a man named Floyd Lewis (who was familiar with Tallbear from the neighborhood) alleged to police that he witnessed two men fighting with a third man, who was lying on the ground. Lewis claimed that from the distance of a football field away, at dusk, he saw two men on their knees beating the victim. Lewis claimed that after he yelled at the men to stop, one of them stood up and, while “making Indian,” shook a cane. Seeing this, Lewis stated, “he knew it was Tallbear.” It was based on this identification—and no other evidence—that Mr. Tallbear was prosecuted and convicted.

Support Tallbear as he transitions home via Amazon Wishlist

At a preliminary hearing, Lewis stated, “I don’t think Tallbear done it.” Nonetheless, Lewis went on to identify Tallbear at his subsequent trial, testifying that he saw Tallbear and another person fighting with the victim, although he was unable to identify the second assailant.

“The DNA proving Mr. Tallbear’s innocence was pivotal to bringing an end to his wrongful incarceration.”

At trial, the state also relied on the testimony of discredited forensic analyst Joyce Gilchrist, who, as was revealed in a preliminary study conducted by the FBI in 2001, made outright errors or overstepped “the acceptable limits of forensic science” in at least five of her cases, leading to a comprehensive review of thousands of cases handled by her as a state forensic analyst between 1980 and 1993 by former Governor Frank Keating. Gilchrist performed basic serology (blood type testing) and claimed to have found four different blood types at the scene. While she acknowledged that Tallbear didn’t match any of these blood types, her conclusion that there were four blood types called into question whether the blood was related to the crime (as there were only two assailants) and diminished the significance of Mr. Tallbear’s exclusion from the blood types found at the scene.  The district attorney stood by the strength of the eyewitness identification and argued that while “the forensic evidence did not tell us very much … There’s evidence of several different blood types and enzyme activity.”

SEE VIDEO

https://www.innocenceproject.org/oklahoma-man-exonerated-after-serving-26-years-for-a-murder-dna-evidence-proves-he-didnt-commit/