Cheryle Beridon

In August 1977, the district attorney in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana received word from an informant that Cheryl Beridon had offered to sell her heroin.  The informant was given money to purchase the drugs and she was followed to a motel by the district attorney and his investigator.  The informant left the motel with Beridon and went to a bar.  Fifteen minutes later, the informant returned and she gave them several small packets of heroin worth $125 that she claimed the defendant sold her.  In 1979, based on the testimony of the district attorney, the investigator, and the informant, Beridon was convicted of the unlawful distribution of heroin and received a mandatory life sentence.  Beridon maintained her innocence, and claimed that the district attorney arrested and prosecuted her in retaliation because she recently ended an affair with him.  After serving 20 years of her sentence, the NAACP helped her convince Governor Mike Foster to commute her sentence to 45 years, making her eligible for parole.  She was paroled in November 2000 and subsequently petitioned the Governor for a pardon, which was granted in July 2003.
 

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012

 

State:Louisiana
County:Terrebonne
Most Serious Crime:Drug Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1977
Convicted:1979
Exonerated:2003
Sentence:Life
Race:Black
Sex:Female
Age:23
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No