Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

William LaBolt, Jr.

Other New York Guilty Plea Cases
In 1988, police in Vestal, New York, submitted panes of glass from two separate home burglaries to the New York State Police Crime Laboratory for processing of fingerprints.

State police Lt. Craig Harvey was able to lift multiple fingerprints from one of the panes of glass and match them to 42-year-old William LaBolt, Jr., who had a prior felony conviction in Florida.

Harvey reported to the Broome County District Attorney that he found LaBolt’s fingerprints on both panes of glass, even though he had only found them on one pane.

LaBolt was charged with both burglaries. He pled guilty to both burglaries in Broome County Supreme Court and was sentenced to three to six years in prison.

In 1992, Harvey and several other New York State Police Troopers came under investigation for fabricating and planting fingerprints. A special prosecutor was appointed and after a lengthy examination of thousands of cases, at least 30 cases were overturned, including LaBolt’s.

In December 1994, after evidence showed that trooper Harvey had taken a print from one pane of glass in one burglary and planted it on a pane of glass in another burglary, the Broome County District Attorney dismissed the case against LaBolt involving the planted fingerprint. LaBolt was then released.

In 1995, Lt. Harvey pled guilty to perjury and evidence tampering and was sentenced to 2 ½ to 7 ½ years in prison. Several troopers were convicted of similar charges.

Most of the defendants whose convictions were overturned subsequently pled guilty for time served. However, the arson conviction of Shirley Kinge, who was found guilty after a trooper admitted planting her fingerprint on a gasoline can, was vacated and the charge dismissed. In another case, Mark Prentice was acquitted of assault and burglary charges after a trooper admitted planting Prentice’s fingerprint in the victim’s home and shed.

– Maurice Possley

Report an error or add more information about this case.

Posting Date: 11/10/2014
State:New York
County:Broome
Most Serious Crime:Burglary/Unlawful Entry
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1988
Convicted:1990
Exonerated:1994
Sentence:3 to 6 years
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:42
Contributing Factors:False or Misleading Forensic Evidence, Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No