Kenneth York

On June 4, 1993, a 66 year-old widow was raped at knifepoint in her home in Walker, Missouri. Around the time of the incident, two of the widow’s neighbors had followed a man as he drove suspiciously away from their neighborhood and then reported the suspicious driving to the police. Kenneth York was suspected and was later arrested and charged for the rape based on the following evidence: York was a convicted rapist; the victim’s neighbors identified York in a photo lineup as the man they saw driving suspiciously; the victim herself identified York in a photo-lineup (after identifying a different man in an earlier photo-lineup);  and the neighbor’s description of the suspicious car matched the victim’s description of the car driven by York’s aunt, was the victim’s newspaper delivery woman.
 
At trial, the only evidence connecting York to the crime was the testimony of the three identification witnesses. On September 29, 1994, the jury found York guilty of forcible rape and on December 9, 1994, York was sentenced to life without parole.
 
On April 20, 2010, more than 15 years after he was convicted, the trial court in Barton County, Missouri vacated York’s conviction after DNA testing excluded York as the source of the semen recovered from the victim. York was subsequently released over prosecutor’s objections.
 
Charles Armbrust
 

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012

 

State:Missouri
County:Vernon
Most Serious Crime:Sexual Assault
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1993
Convicted:1994
Exonerated:2010
Sentence:Life without parole
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Male
Age:38
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:Yes