Withheld Evidence Frees Man Given Life Sentence

Prosecutors withheld evidence that would have raised doubts

A man serving a life sentence for two sexual assault convictions in high school was released from jail Monday because prosecutors withheld evidence that might have cleared him.

Antone Lynelle Johnson, 31, was sentenced to life in prison in 1996 for having sex with a 13-year-old when he was 17 and on probation for a prior assault.

Prosecutors withheld evidence that would have raised doubts in both cases. One girl told prosecutors Johnson didn't rape her, and the other gave conflicting statements.

Johnson did not find out about either comments until this year, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Prosecutors in Dallas County, where a nation-high 19 inmates have been exonerated by DNA evidence, supported overturning Johnson's first conviction and his life sentence.

Johnson was released after a state district judge recommended setting aside the conviction.

A higher court will ultimately decide his case.



Copyright AP - Associated Press
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