Charles Shepard

In March 1987, a taxi driver was shot and killed during an attempted robbery in Brooklyn, New York.  An informant led police to a woman who claimed to have seen two men, Anthony Faison and Charles Shepard, commit the crime.  Her testimony was presented at trial, and in May 1988, Faison and Shepard were convicted of second-degree murder and attempted robbery.  Faison, who was said to be the shooter, was sentenced to 20-years-to-life in prison.  Shepard received a sentence of 15-years-to-life in prison. 
 
In the 12 years after his conviction, Faison wrote tens of thousands of letters to news media, lawyers, courts and others, attempting to get help in proving his innocence.  One of these letters prompted Michael Race, a private investigator and former police officer, to investigate the case.  He found that the testimony given by the eyewitness did not match the physical evidence at the crime scene and the informant was a man who had blamed Faison and Shepard for not recommending him for a job.  The witness admitted that she had lied to collect reward money, which she split with the informant, to support her drug habit.  Further investigation led to the real killer, whose fingerprints were found on the taxi; he confessed to the crime.  The prosecution filed a motion to vacate the convictions and dismiss the indictments, which the court granted in May 2001.
 
- Stephanie Denzel

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012

 

State:New York
County:Kings
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Additional Convictions:Robbery
Reported Crime Date:1987
Convicted:1988
Exonerated:2001
Sentence:15 to Life
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age:24
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No