Wrongly accused Colorado man set free after 16 years behind bars

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 30, 2012 8:09 PM
Wrongly accused Colorado man set free after 16 years behind bars

GRAND JUNCTION (Reuters) - A Colorado man wrongly convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the rape and murder of a woman found strangled with a dog leash was exonerated on the basis of new DNA evidence and set free on Monday after spending more than 16 years behind bars.

Robert "Rider" Dewey, 51, who had been incarcerated since his 1995 arrest, walked out of a courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado, about 250 miles west of Denver, a free man, accompanied by a woman he had been corresponding with from prison for the past year.

Prosecutors earlier announced they were seeking an arrest warrant for a new suspect in the 1994 killing who was identified by DNA testing and is already serving a life sentence for a similar 1989 murder.

(Reporting by Ellen Miller; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)