Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Big in Brevard

  • Dillon free after 27 years in prison

  • On Nov. 18, William Dillon walked out of the Brevard County jail and raised his hands over his head. Even though the state promised to try him again, Dillon knew he would not be going back.
  • The Satellite Beach man spent 27 years in prison for a murder he said he did not commit. On Dec. 10, Dillon received a phone call from his attorney letting him know the state was dropping all charges against him.

    Dillon benefited from recent DNA testing that excluded him from a key piece of evidence prosecutors insisted was worn by the killer. The case was reminiscent of the Wilton Dedge case. Dedge was released in 2004 after DNA cleared him from a rape conviction that he had served
    22 years for.

  • Both cases involved the use of fraudulent dog handler John Preston by the state.
  • Both cases involved the use of jailhouse snitches claiming they were promised nothing in return for their testimony.
  • Both cases were resolved after defense attorneys fought to have DNA evidence considered.

    Public Defender J.R. Russo, as well as attorneys for the Innocence Project of Florida, called for the governor to appoint a special prosecutor to look into possible misconduct by the state attorney's office in Brevard County.

  • One of the county's most notorious personalities was executed, while another man was released from prison -- after serving 27 years for a murder he says he didn't commit.

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