After spending 9 years in prison for murder, exonerated man set - WFSB 3 Connecticut

After spending 9 years in prison for murder, exonerated man set free

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Bobby Johnson was freed in New Haven on Friday. (WFSB photo) Bobby Johnson was freed in New Haven on Friday. (WFSB photo)
Bobby Johnson. (DOC photo) Bobby Johnson. (DOC photo)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A man who spent nearly a decade in prison for murder tasted freedom for the first time in nine years.

Bobby Johnson, 25, had his conviction set aside and he was released on Friday, according to his attorney.

Johnson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the 2006 murder of 70-year-old Herbert “Pete” Fields.

Police said Fields was sitting in his car in New Haven on Aug. 1, 2006 when teenagers walked up to his car on West Ivy Street and shot him in the neck.

Fields had been waiting for a woman he was dating.

Kenneth Rosenthal, Johnson’s attorney, said his then 16-year-old client falsely confessed that he killed fields.

He also said that evidence showed that another individual committed the murder and had committed similar murders prior to Fields’ death.

"To their credit, following disclosure of that information, and a re-examination of the entire record, Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane, Deputy Chief State's Attorney Leonard Boyle, and New Haven State's Attorney Michael Dearington have concluded that Bobby's conviction and continued incarceration is inconsistent with the principles of justice they are sworn to uphold, and have exercised their discretion to set aside the conviction immediately,” Rosenthal said in a statement.

The exoneration proceedings took place at 10 a.m. at New Haven court, where Johnson was originally convicted.

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