Wrongly Convicted Database Record


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Reginald Adams



Second Degree Murder


Life Imprisonment

Years Imprisoned:


Year Crime:


Year Convicted:


Year Cleared:


U.S. State or Country of Crime:


County or Region of Crime:


City of Crime:

New Orleans


Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Reginald Adams was wrongly convicted of second-degree murder in August 1983 after his fourth trial for a 1979 murder of Cathy Ulfers, the wife of a New Orleans police officer. Adams was arrested and charged in September 1980. Key prosecution evidence was a confession that Adams recanted as coerced by the police. Adams was sentenced to life in prison. Adams filed a petition for a new trial based on new evidence that the prosecution intentionally failed to disclose to Adams' trial lawyers a supplemental police report by two homicide detectives in which they detailed they found the murder weapon and there were other suspects. The detectives had testified during Adams' trial that they didn't find the murder weapon and there were no other suspects. Adams' conviction was vacated on May 12, 2014 without opposition by the Orleans Parish District Attorney, and he was released later that day after more than 33 years in custody. On March 16, 2015 Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell's office declared Adams "factually innocent" of murder, and approved him to receive $250,000 spread out over the next 10 years - the maximum compensation allowable under Louisiana state law. In September 2015 Adams filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana that naed as defendants: Orleans Parish district attorneys Harry Connick and Leon Cannizzaro Jr.; prosecutor Ronald Bodenheimer; detectives Sam Gebbia, Martin Venezia, Frank Ruiz and Jerry Ursin; John Does 1-10; Jane Does 1-10; the city of New Orleans; and, the defendants’ insurance companies. Reginald Adams was awarded $250,000 compensation by the State of Louisiana in March 2015. Adams filed a federal civil lawsuit in 2015 that named as defendants: former NOPD homicide detectives Martin Venezia and Sam Gebbia; the City of New Orleans; former prosecutors Ronald Bodenheimer and Harold Gilbert; former Orleans Parish District Attorney Harry Connick; and former NOPD detectives Frank Ruiz and Jerry Ursin. On June 8, 2017 Adams settled his lawsuit against the City of New Orleans and the Orleans Parish DA's Office for $1.25 million (The terms of the settlement were unsealed on July 11, 2017 by order of U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan.)"

Conviction Caused By:

Police misconduct of coercing false confession.

Innocence Proved By:

"Based on new evidence Adams' conviction was vacated on May 12, 2014 without opposition by the Orleans Parish District Attorney, and he was released after 34 years in custody."

Defendant Aided By:

Innocence Project New Orleans

Compensation Awarded:

"$1,500,000 Total. $250,000 (State of Louisiana, March 2015 -- pd over 10 yrs) and $1,250,000 (City of New Orleans & Orleans Parish DA's Office, 6-8-2017)"

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:


Age When Released:





Information Source 1:

"Man freed from prison after DA acknowledges misconduct in '79 New Orleans murder case, By Helen Freund (Staff writer), The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), May 13, 2014"

Information Location 1:


Information Source 2:

"Wrongly convicted man freed from jail after 34 Years, By David Mccormack, Daily Mail (London, UK), May 13, 2014"

Information Location 2:


Information Source 3:

"Reginald Adams, wrongfully convicted of murder, cleared for state compensation, By Jonathan Bullington (Staff), Times-Picayune (New Orleans), March 17, 2015"

Information Location 3:


Information Source 4:

"Ex-prisoner sues prosecutors, police after he's exonerated, By Elaine Goodman, LouisianaRecord.com, September 3, 2015"

Information Location 4:


Information Source 5:

"City taxpayers owe $1.25 million in New Orleans' settlement with wrongly imprisoned Reginald Adams, By Ken Daley, Times-Picayune (New Orleans), July 11, 2017"

Information Location 5:


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Innocents Database Created and Maintained by Hans Sherrer innocents@forejustice.org

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