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Franky Carrillo

Other Los Angeles Murder Exonerations
In January 1991, 41-year-old Donald Sarpy was killed by gunshots from a passing car as he stood in the the driveway of his home in Lynwood, California while his teenaged son and five friends stood nearby. 
Sixteen-year-old Franky Carrillo became a suspect after police mistakenly identified him as the shooter in another incident. Scott Turner, one of the eyewitnesses, who was shown Carrillo’s photograph on the night of the shooting, later identified Carrillo as the shooter. 
Turner then told Sarpy's son, Dameon, and the four other friends who were present that Carrillo was the gunman. Dameon and the four friends identified Carrillo in a lineup six months later. All six witnesses testified at Carrillo’s first trial, which ended in a mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict. 
Turner recanted before Carrillo’s second trial, but the other five continued to identify Carrillo as the gunman. In June 1992, the jury convicted him of murder and six counts of attempted murder.
At Carrillo’s sentencing, a criminal defense attorney came to court and told the judge that he represented a man who was at the murder scene and could testify that Carrillo was not involved. However, the judge would not let the witness testify. Carrillo was then sentenced to life in prison. 
In March 2003, Carrillo, reviewing a defense investigator’s files, discovered notes of an interview by a defense investigator of the man who was not allowed to testify at his sentencing. According to the notes, the man confessed that he was actually the gunman.

Ellen Eggers, a deputy state public defender, met Carrillo in prison and took up his case. She worked on it in her private time and ultimately connected Carrillo with the Northern California Innocence Project and the law firm of Morrison & Foerster, which handled the case without a fee.

After Sarpy's son, Dameon, was informed of the notes, he admitted that he had not been able to see the shooter at the time of the shooting, but identified Carrillo because he was told by Turner that Carrillo was the gunman. 
Ultimately, all of the eyewitnesses recanted at a post-trial hearing on a motion for a new trial for Carrillo. Turner also testified that Carrillo had been pointed out to him by the police.
On March 14, 2011, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Paul Bacigalupo vacated Carrillo’s conviction and he was released from custody that day. In April 2011, the prosecution dismissed the case.
Carrillo filed a federal civil rights lawsuit seeking damages from the city of Los Angeles. The case was settled in 2016 for $10.1 million. He also filed a claim for compensation from the state of California and in 2014 he was awarded $683,300.
- Stephanie Denzel

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012
Last Updated: 7/20/2016
County:Los Angeles
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Additional Convictions:Attempted Murder
Reported Crime Date:1991
Age at the date of reported crime:16
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No