Lamar Johnson’s tears of joy after being released 28 years later for a crime he didn’t commit
Lamar Johnson’s story is that of a 50-year-old man who entered prison at the age of 22 for a crime he has always claimed he did not commit and this Tuesday, 28 years later, a Missouri judge has overturned his conviction, as reported by LaPresse.
Johnson was convicted in 1994 for the shooting where Marcus Boyd was killed. Police and prosecutors attributed the murder to a dispute over drug money. From the beginning, Johnson maintained his innocencesaying that he was with his girlfriend several miles away when the crime took place.
St. Louis prosecutor Kim Gardner filed a petition in August seeking Johnson’s release. Gardner claimed that an investigation conducted by her office, with support from the Innocence Project, convinced her that Johnson was telling the truth. “Today the courts corrected a mistake: vacating Mr. Lamar Johnson’s sentence, following his wrongful conviction″, Gardner said in a statement after the hearing.
The confession that changed everything
The turning point in the case came with the statement of James Howard, 46, who is serving a life sentence for murder and various crimes that occurred after Boyd’s death. Howard testified at the hearing that he and a second suspect, Phil Campbell, decided to rob Boyd, who owed money to one of his friends for selling drugs. Howard testified that he shot Boyd in the back of the head. and neck, and Campbell, in the side.
Johnson testified at the December hearing that. he was with his girlfriend on the night of the crimeexcept for a few minutes when he left a friend’s house to sell drugs on a street corner several blocks away from where the victim was killed.