GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) — Robert Dewey was 33 when he went to prison for the 1994 rape and murder of a Colorado woman. The 51-year-old walked away free Monday, after new testing of DNA evidence pointed to someone else as the suspect.
At a court hearing Monday, a judge dismissed charges against Dewey and declared him a free man. Dewey flashed a small smile through his trim beard.
He told reporters he just wants to kick back, ride his motorcycle and spend time with his family.
"Contrary to popular belief, the world doesn't stop when you go to prison," said Dewey, wearing glasses and with his hair in two long braids. "There's a lot for me to catch up on."
Dewey was sentenced in 1996 to life in prison without parole after he was convicted of killing 19-year-old Jacie Taylor, who was found dead in her bathtub in Palisade on June 4, 1994.
DNA technology at the time gave jurors conflicting information to consider, according to news accounts at the time. At his sentencing hearing, Dewey had said there was still a killer out there.
The Colorado Attorney General's Office's Justice Review Project, which reviews cases where post-conviction DNA testing could exonerate a person, took up Dewey's case last year. The advanced DNA tests that cleared Dewey have led to an arrest warrant being issued for Douglas Thames, who is accused of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual assault.
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