SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California man convicted nearly 40 years ago of killing his former girlfriend and her son told the governor in a clemency application he filed from prison in 2013 that he was framed by a detective who destroyed crucial evidence.
Craig Richard Coley walked out of a prison in California's high desert a few hours before Thanksgiving after Gov. Jerry Brown issued a pardon. His whereabouts could not be immediately determined.
The 70-year-old Coley was convicted of killing 24-year-old Rhonda Wicht of Simi Valley and her 4-year-old son in 1978.
Simi Valley's police chief and Ventura County's district attorney asked Brown to pardon him.
They say forensic tests reveal Coley's DNA isn't on a key piece of evidence used to convict him.
They say others' DNA is on the evidence that was not identified.