In June 1998, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in Baltimore, Maryland. An eyewitness was able to describe the clothing worn by the shooter. Tyrone Jones, a college student home for the summer, was arrested by police a few blocks from the shooting because his clothing matched that described by the witness. The witness later identified Jones in a photo array and at trial. The prosecution also presented evidence that a single particle of gunshot residue was found on Jones’s hand. In 1999, a jury convicted Jones of conspiracy to commit murder, and he was sentenced to life in prison.
Jones lost initial appeals based on the unreliability of the gunshot residue tests. Several years after his conviction, the Maryland Innocence Project took Jones’s case. They discovered that police failed to turn over an initial interview with the eyewitness who testified at trial in which he said that he had not seen the shooter. In January 2010, the Baltimore City Circuit Court reversed Jones’s conviction based on the fact that this interview was concealed from the defense, and prosecutors dismissed the charges in May 2010.
- Stephanie Denzel