Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Troy Webb

Other Virginia DNA Exonerations
https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/PublishingImages/Troy_Webb%20(1).jpg
On January 24, 1988, a 25-year-old cocktail waitress, who was white, was coming home from work in Virginia Beach, Virginia, when, as she got out of her car, a black man pointed a gun at her face and demanded her money and her purse.

She handed them over and her assailant led her from the lighted area in front of her apartment building to a darkened area at the corner of the building. He threatened her with the gun and forced her to remove her hose and underpants and proceeded to rape her.

Afterward, the victim suggested they each go their separate ways and the assailant agreed. The victim watched him walk away and then ran into her house. She first called her mother and then the police.

Although the victim said she was shaken up to be able to help police construct a sketch of the suspect, she began viewing photographic lineups prepared by detectives. About two weeks after the assault, she identified 19-year-old Troy Webb as the attacker.
 
Webb went to trial in Virginia Beach County Circuit Court in February 1989. The prosecution presented evidence that the victim had picked out a photograph of Webb at the police station. After declaring that she was ninety-nine percent sure that Webb was her attacker, she picked out another, younger, picture of him.

A forensic analyst conducted serology testing on swabs collected from the victim after the attack and found Type A antigens, which were foreign to both Webb and the victim. Although Webb should have been excluded as a possible perpetrator based on that finding, the analyst testified that because Webb was a nonsecretor he could have contributed to a mixed sample. This was improper testimony because there was no reason to believe there was a mixed sample of two semen contributors.

Webb was convicted by the jury on February 12, 1989. He was sentenced to 47 years in prison.
 
All of Webb's appeals and challenges were unsuccessful.
 
In 1996, Webb gained access to the evidence and was a motion to conduct DNA testing was granted. The tests excluded him as the perpetrator of the crime. He eventually filed for and was granted executive clemency from Gov. George Allen.

Gov. Allen subsequently signed a bill approved by the state legislature that awarded Webb compensation totalling $375,000.

– Maurice Possley

Report an error or add more information about this case.

Posting Date:  Before June 2012
Last Updated: 9/4/2017
State:Virginia
County:Virginia Beach
Most Serious Crime:Sexual Assault
Additional Convictions:Robbery, Kidnapping, Gun Possession or Sale
Reported Crime Date:1988
Convicted:1989
Exonerated:1996
Sentence:47 years
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:19
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID, False or Misleading Forensic Evidence
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:Yes