TKC BREAKING NEWS!!! JACKSON COUNTY JUDGE FREES MAN WRONGLY CONVICTED OF RAPE AND ROBBERY THANKS TO MIDWEST INNOCENCE PROEJCT!!!
KICK-ASS TKC TIPSTERS tell us what's before it happens . . . And FIRST!!!
"Midwest Innocence Project and the Jackson County Prosecutor will hold a joint press conference on this matter at 2:00pm on the 11th Floor of the Jackson County, MO Courthouse."
The presser . . .
JACKSON COUNTY JUDGE FREES ROBERT NELSON
KANSAS CITY, MO (June 14, 2013) – Robert Nelson, a Kansas City man wrongfully convicted of forcible rape and robbery in 1984, was released from prison on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, as the result of DNA testing obtained by the Midwest Innocence Project, which also identified the actual perpetrators of the crime. Jackson County Circuit Judge David Michael Byrn ordered Nelson's release as stipulated by Ted Hunt, Chief Trial Assistant at Jackson County Circuit Court, and Nelson's attorney, Laura O'Sullivan, Legal Director of the Midwest Innocence Project and Associate Clinical Professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.
On December 16, 1983, two men armed with a sawed-off shotgun forced their way into a Kansas City home near 56th and Bellefontaine. They raped the 24-year-old victim, robbed her of jewelry and cash, and escaped in her vehicle. That year, a spree of 65 rapes were reported in the southeast neighborhoods of Kansas City, leading the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime to offer a $1,000 reward for anonymous tips leading to the capture of the perpetrators.
Police reports obtained by the Midwest Innocence Project indicate that in January 1984 an anonymous caller to the TIPS hotline reported that two brothers with the last name of "Ramsey," awaiting trial in the Jackson County jail for robbery, were responsible for the series of rapes "out South." A detective checked the police database for the last name "Ramsey," but the search yielded too broad a field. However, there were two brothers in the Jackson County jail awaiting trial for robbery: Robert Nelson and his older brother.
Police showed the victim a series of mug shots that included Nelson and his brother, but she could not identify anyone from the photos. In a police lineup, the victim could only tentatively identify Nelson. Incredibly, both Nelson and his older brother were charged with the forcible rape and robbery. Nelson was tried by a jury, convicted, and sentenced to 58 years, while prosecutors dropped charges against his older brother for lack of evidence.
Judge Byrn granted Nelson's motion for post-conviction DNA testing in October 2011. Testing performed by the KCPD's Regional Crime Lab and Bode Technology Laboratory in Lorton, Virginia, utilized technologies far more advanced than those available when Nelson was tried. Results absolved Nelson and his brother but were consistent with the DNA profiles of two other individuals in the FBI database.
"The flaws in our justice system can only be corrected by those who seek the truth," says Laura O'Sullivan, Legal Director of the Midwest Innocence Project. "Thankfully, the Jackson County prosecutors were interested in seeking the truth. Their cooperation led to Robert Nelson's release and the identification of the true perpetrators in this crime. But this is only the silver lining to the tragedy that Robert endured, convicted of a crime he did not commit."