Wrongly Convicted Database Record

 

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Clarence Elkins

 

Charge:

Murder and Rape

Sentence:

Life Imprisonment plus 55 yrs

Years Imprisoned:

7.4

Year Crime:

1998

Year Convicted:

1999

Year Cleared:

2005

U.S. State or Country of Crime:

Ohio

County or Region of Crime:

Summit

City of Crime:

Barberton

Result:

Judicially Exonerated Released

Summary of Case:

"Clarence Elkins was wrongly convicted in June 1999 of murdering and raping his mother-in-law, and raping his 6-year-old niece in Barberton, Ohio. Elkins prosecution was based on the girl's initial statement that her attacker "looked like uncle Clarence." By the time of Elkins' trial that non-incriminating statement had evolved in her positive testimony that Elkins was the perpetrator who had strangled her and left her to die. There was no physical evidence linking Clarence Elkins to the rape and murder. Four years after the murder Elkins' niece retracted her identification of Elkins. With the aid of private investigator, the actual killer and rapist was identified as a man who was convicted of raping his three pre-teenaged daughter in 2002 -- three years after Elkins' conviction. Based on new DNA evidence excluding Elkins and the match of the DNA evidence to the other man, the charges were dropped against Elkins on Dec. 15, 2005, and he was released later that day after 7-1/2 years of wrongful imprisonment. Elkins filed a suit under Ohio's wrongful conviction compensation statute, and in March 2006 he was awarded $1,075,000, out of which he had to pay his legal fees and other expenses. Elkins settled a federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of Barberton in November 2010 for $5.25 million."

Conviction Caused By:

Erroneous courtroom identification of Elkins by his six-year-old niece who was psychologically traumatized by being strangled and left for dead by the man who killed and raped her grandmother.

Innocence Proved By:

"Based on new DNA evidence excluding Elkins and the match of the DNA evidence to the other man, the charges were dropped against Elkins on Dec. 15, 2005, and he was released later that day after 7-1/2 years of wrongful imprisonment."

Defendant Aided By:

Ohio Innocence Project and Innocence Project NY

Compensation Awarded:

"$6.275 mil. Total. $1,075,000 (State of Ohio, March 2006) and $5.2 million (City of Barberton, Nov. 2010)"

Was Perpetrator Identified?

Age When Imprisoned:

35

Age When Released:

42

Sex:

Skin/Ethnicity:

White

Information Source 1:

""Young witness recants in murder-rape case," Phil Trexler, Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH, May 17, 2002."

Information Location 1:

http://www.macon.com/mld/macon/news/nation/3282997.htm

Information Source 2:

"Ohio To Settle Elkins Lawsuit For $1.075 Million, Phil Trexler, Akron Beacon Journal, March 31, 2006"

Information Location 2:

Information Source 3:

"Family of wrongfully convicted man gets $5.2M settlement, By Laura A. Bischoff (Columbus Bureau), Dayton Daily News, November 17, 2010"

Information Location 3:

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dayton-news/family-of-wrongfully-convicted-man-gets-5-2m-settlement-1005812.html

Information Source 4:

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

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