Monday, February 19, 2007

The Jailhouse Snitch The Innocence Project Dennis Fritz and Ron Williamson

In 1982, high school science teacher Dennis Fritz was living near Ada, Okla., raising his 8-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, whose mother had been murdered by a deranged neighbor when Elizabeth was 2 years old. Fritz frequently visited Ada, where he befriended Ron Williamson a tall, lanky local who suffered from mental disorders. The two would often play guitar together and then go out to local bars. One of the places they frequented was the Coachlight Club.

On Dec. 8, 1982, Debra Sue Carter, a waitress at the Coachlight Club, was found raped and murdered in her apartment. A witness, Glen Gore, came forward to say that Williamson was at the bar bothering Carter on the night of the murder. Fritz, due to his association with Williamson, also came under suspicion. Fritz and Williamson were both questioned by police and then released due to lack of evidence.

A few years later, with no one yet charged for the murder, a jailhouse snitch came forward and claimed that Williamson, while in jail on unrelated charges, had confessed to killing Carter. On May 8, 1987, Fritz was arrested along with Williamson for the rape and murder. The police claimed that hair evidence from the crime scene that had been microscopically analyzed matched both men. While Fritz was awaiting trial in county jail, other snitches claimed that they heard Fritz confess to the crime.

The snitches' testimony, along with the hair samples, were the prosecution's main evidence during trial.
On April 12, 1988, Fritz was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. Williamson, as the primary suspect, was sent to Death Row.
After several appeals of his conviction were denied, Fritz contacted The Innocence Project At the time, Williamson's public defenders had successfully gained permission to perform DNA tests on the physical evidence, and Fritz had to file an injunction so that the evidence would not be totally consumed in the tests on Williamson's behalf. In 1999, DNA testing revealed that neither Fritz nor Williamson had raped the victim. Further testing also proved that none of the hairs belonged to either of the men.

Fritz and Williamson were exonerated and released on April 15, 1999. The profile obtained from the semen evidence matched Glen Gore, the state's main witness at trial. Gore had been serving three 40-year sentences for unrelated charges of first-degree burglary, kidnapping, and shooting with intent to injure. In April 2002, Gore was charged with the rape and murder of Debra Sue Carter; he pled not guilty.

Book Recommendation - Journey Toward Justice Author Dennis Fritz On Amazon Here
International Orders Order Here Journey Toward Justice by Dennis Fritz From Around The World Amazon International Just type in Journey Toward Justice Author Dennis Fritz

No comments: