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Charles Shepherd

Other Brooklyn Murder Exonerations
On March 14, 1987, John Ulysses, a 46-year-old 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, 21-year-old Anthony Faison and 24-year-old Charles Shepherd, commit the crime.

Her testimony was presented at trial in Kings County Supreme Court, and in May 1988, Faison and Shepherd were convicted of second-degree murder and attempted robbery.  Faison, who was identified as the shooter, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.  Shepherd received a sentence of 15 years to life in prison. 
 
In the 12 years after his conviction, Faison later estimated that he 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.  Race found that the testimony given by the eyewitness did not match the physical evidence at the crime scene and that the informant was a man who blamed Faison and Shepherd for not recommending him for a job.

The witness admitted that she had lied to collect a $1,000 reward, which she split with the informant, to support her drug habit.

Further investigation led to the real killer, Arlet Cheston, whose fingerprints were found on the taxi. On May 11, 2001, Cheston was arrested and he confessed to the crime.

On May 14, 2001, the prosecution filed a motion to vacate the convictions and dismiss the indictments, which the court granted.

Faison and Shepherd later filed a federal civil rights lawsuit. Faison settled the case for $360,000 and Shepherd settled the lawsuit for $380,000. They also were each awarded $1,650,000 in state compensation.

In 2002, Cheston pled guilty to the murder of Ulysses and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012
Last Updated: 12/12/2016
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 at the date of crime:24
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No