Baltimore men, serving life sentences for murder, exonerated after 36 years in prison

Andrew Stewart, Alfred Chestnut, and Random Watkins

In November 1986 14-year-old Dewitt Walker was shot and killed in Harlem Park, Baltimore over a jacket. Three young teenagers were arrested in connection with the murder, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. More than three decades later those three teenagers, now middle-aged men — Andrew Stewart, Alfred Chestnut, and Random Watkins, walked out of a court room with their names cleared after a review of evidence determined they had not committed the crime.

The turn in the case came after Chestnut sent a letter to the Baltimore’s prosecutor’s office presenting evidence that pointed fingers at Michael Willis. Willis, 18 at the time of the shooting, is now believed to be the actual shooter.

The evidence uncovered as a result of Chestnut’s letter was enough to prompt a reopening of the investigation and renewed interest in eyewitnesses that were present during the murder.

The Washington Post reported that Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby visited each man individually in prison on Friday, November 22 ahead of their release. She gave a statement and apologized for the injustices that they have experienced saying, “they never should’ve seen the inside of a jail cell.”

The prosecutor’s office has stated that they will do everything in their power to help all three men re-acclimate themselves to life outside of prison.

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