Shirley Kinge

In December 1989, Michael Kinge shot and killed a man, his wife and two children during a robbery in their home in Dryden, New York. He then set the house on fire. A man and a woman were later seen using the victims’ credit cards. Police were led to Michael Kinge, who was killed in a shoot out, and his mother, Shirley Kinge. Shirley Kinge was arrested for helping her son burn down the house after the murder and for using the stolen credit cards. Kinge admitted to using the credit cards, but claimed to have nothing to do with the murder or arson. At Kinge’s trial, state police investigator David Harding testified that he had found Kinge’s fingerprints on a gasoline can located in the Harris home. In November 1990, a jury convicted Kinge of burglary, arson, hindering prosecution, criminal possession of stolen property, and forgery, and she was sentenced to 18-to-44-years in prison. Kinge’s convictions were vacated and she was granted a new trial in November 1992, after it was revealed that Harding had fabricated the fingerprint evidence against her. The prosecution dropped all charges except for the forgery charges. Kinge was released in August 1992, and pled guilty to misdemeanor forgery in November 1992. She was later awarded $250,000 in compensation by the State of New York.

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State:New York
County:Tompkins
Most Serious Crime:Arson
Additional Convictions:Burglary/Unlawful Entry
Reported Crime Date:1989
Convicted:1990
Exonerated:1992
Sentence:18 to 44 years
Race:Black
Sex:Female
Age:54
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence, Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No