Navy Vet Spent 28 Years in Prison for Murder He Didn’t Commit Until a Judge Learned the Truth


In 1993, the body of Penny Williams was discovered lying in a shallow pond in Waukegan, Illinois.

At the time, authorities believed Herman Williams, Penny’s former husband, killed her in order to gain custody of their two children.

The 11-year Navy veteran, who maintained his innocence, was convicted of murder in her death in 1994 and sentenced to life in prison, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Nearly 30 years later, prosecutors, Williams’ attorneys and a county judge all agreed — the veteran, now 58 years old, was wrongly convicted.

According to the Lake County News-Sun, Williams’ conviction was overturned on Sept. 6, and he was set free.


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“This horrific crime not only robbed two children of their mother, but because of a flawed investigation, lies from police and prosecutors, and withheld evidence, they also had their father taken from them,” Lauren Kaeseberg, Williams’ attorney at the Illinois Innocence Project, said in a post on the organization’s website.

“Mr. Williams lost nearly three decades of his life, and his children had to grow up thinking their own father killed their mother — because of the misconduct and faulty forensics that plagued this case,” she said.

His attorneys found that much of the evidence in the case was questionable.

For instance, advanced DNA testing showed that the biological evidence found at the scene of the crime did not match Williams.

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The Innocence Project alleged that even at the time of Williams’ conviction, the forensic testimony tying him to the murder was unsupported by the evidence.

It also said key testimony from one officer in the case was suspect. The officer told the jury that Williams had confessed to the crime.

As it turns out, this officer has since been found to have secured a number of false confessions, according to the Innocence Project. In cases with other suspects who had been found to be innocent, the officer claimed those suspects had admitted guilt.

Furthermore, not all of the pertinent evidence was shown to…


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