Nashville DA seeks to overturn couple’s wrongful conviction – Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee 2021-12-03 19:30:49 –

Nashville, Tennessee (WTVF) — Nashville prosecutors say inaccurate and misleading evidence is only part of the reason Joys Watkins and Charlie Dunn deserve to revoke their 1988 convictions. increase.

Judge Angelita Dalton did not provide a timeline on when she could expect her decision on whether to revoke the indictment based on Friday’s testimony.

On Friday, Watkins took the stand for the first time in years to clear her name and Dan’s name. Both were charged and convicted of one murder of Watkins’ 4-year-old niece Brandy and worsening rape.

She remained innocent and did not change her story when life imprisonment hung in balance. Watkins told a packed court that he had testified to Dan and refused a judicial transaction to protect himself from prison.

It is the first time in more than 30 years since the trial that the Dan family heard such admission. There wasn’t much to say in court other than reaffirming trust in Watkins.

Watkins was released from prison in 2015. The same year that Dan died of cancer while still in custody. Since then, Watkins has been released on parole. She is a registered sex offender and cannot vote or leave the state without permission.

She was asked by Jason Gihner, a lawyer for the Tennessee Innocence Project, how many polygraph tests she had during her parole. Watkins said she took eight times and passed all eight times. She was supportive during the investigation and invited a police officer to her house to take the child’s bed sheets.

“33 years have passed and it’s time for us to say enough. We can’t give justice to these people, but we can admit what happened to them, and finally We can reveal their names, “Gichner said.

A 44-page report by the Nashville Conviction Review Unit details what happened that day when Watkins picked up Brandy from another family home. Brandy stayed at the house for two months. Watkins says she traveled from Nashville to Fort Campbell, picked up the girl, and Brandy became unconscious nine hours later. She noticed the blood and bruises on Brandy’s underwear.

Doctors have determined that there are signs of rape and trauma. This was enough to prosecute both Watkins and Dan. Former coroner Dr. Gretar Harlan initially claimed to believe that Brandy had been abused within 24-48 hours of admission to the hospital.

Shortly before the courtroom, she changed her opinion to a 12-14 hour time frame. This conveniently narrowed the gap between Watkins and Dan when they owned Brandy.

State coroner Adele Luis testified on Friday that Harlan’s findings were not science-based. Harlan is said to have estimated the time of injury based on what he saw on the child’s skin, rather than using reliable medical techniques.

Lewis was asked by Gihner, “Is there any medical evidence that these injuries occurred while this child was caring for Joyce Watkins and Charlie Dunn?” Lewis simply answered “no”. Lewis went on to say that he did not believe that Harlan’s discovery was supported by science.

CRU director Sunny Eaton may not know what caused Brandy’s death, but “Joyce Watkins and Charles Dunn did not exacerbate Brandy’s rape or take the action that caused her. It’s clear that it’s death. “

Glenn Funk, Nashville District Attorney, has agreed with the Innocence Project, Tennessee and the CRU that it is time for these charges to be withdrawn.

“I think they are innocent. I can’t give them years of their lives, but I can do what is possible to clear their name, and Mr. Watkins goes. As long as … fully restores her freedom for the rest of her life, “Funk said.

Earlier this year, the conviction unit overturned the conviction after Paul Shane Garrett spent 29 years behind the bar. The office has overturned three beliefs since its establishment in 2017.

Nashville DA seeks to overturn couple’s wrongful conviction Source link Nashville DA seeks to overturn couple’s wrongful conviction

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