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Daryl Holloway

Other Milwaukee Cases
On September 2, 1992, a 24-year-old woman, identified as Maria G., was sexually assaulted at knifepoint in her bedroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On September 26, 1992, 19-year-old Gina D. was sexually assaulted, also at knifepoint, in her bedroom in the same Milwaukee neighborhood.

Maria told police she was able to see only her attacker’s eyes, forehead, and hair because he wore a scarf over his face. Gina said did not see her attacker’s face at all.

On September 28, 1992, a burglary occurred in the same neighborhood and a jewelry box taken during the crime was found in an alley. Police found a fingerprint on the jewelry box that matched 24-year-old Daryl Holloway. When police discovered that Holloway had a prior conviction for sexual assault, he was put into a live lineup which was viewed simultaneously by Gina, Maria and 12 other witnesses. Holloway was one of five men in the lineup, although three of the men did not fit the descriptions of the attacker, so it was functionally a lineup of two.

Maria identified Holloway as her attacker based on his physical stature and eyes as well as the sound of his voice. Gina identified Holloway but only by his voice.

Holloway was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault and armed burglary for the attacks on Maria and Gina. He was also charged with the third burglary because of his fingerprint on the jewelry box.

Holloway went to trial in Milwaukee County Circuit Court in the summer of 1993. The two women testified about the attacks and identified Holloway -- Maria by his eyes and build and Gina by his voice.

Blood typing analysis excluded Holloway as the source of semen stains on blankets found in Gina’s residence. No semen was detected in the rape kit in that assault.

Semen was found on Maria’s clothing and in the rape kit taken after her assault. Blood typing analysis excluded Holloway from one stain, but no conclusion could be reached on another semen stain or from analysis of the rape kit due to the low levels of semen in both samples.

The prosecution argued that Holloway either did not ejaculate or wore a condom.

A fingerprint examiner testified about Holloway’s fingerprint on the jewelry box.

Another witness testified that he saw Holloway near Gina’s residence the day after she was attacked.

Holloway denied the crimes. He testified that he had made a telephone call from his residence to his girlfriend at about the same time Maria was being assaulted, and his girlfriend confirmed his account in her testimony. He also testified that at the time Gina was attacked, he and a friend were working on Holloway’s car at Holloway’s mother's house, which his mother corroborated in her testimony. Holloway testified that his fingerprint was on the jewelry box because he was walking home and came upon it in an alley. He said he picked it up and then discarded it because it appeared to have been stolen and he didn't want to get involved in any theft.

Holloway also testified that he wasn’t in Gina’s neighborhood on the day after she was assaulted as the prosecution witness claimed. Rather, he said he was about 75 miles away in Janesville, Wisconsin. Several other defense witnesses testified that they saw Holloway in Janesville that day.

On August 6, 1993, the jury convicted Holloway of the sexual assaults and burglaries of Maria and Gina and acquitted him of the burglary involving the jewelry box. Holloway was sentenced to 120 years in prison.

Over the next 20 years, multiple DNA tests were performed in response to Holloway’s post-conviction requests. He was excluded in all of the tests, but the tests of the evidence in the assault on Maria could not exclude Maria’s husband. Because the semen could have come from Maria's husband, the testing did not rule out the prosecution's theory that Holloway wore a condom.

In 2015, Assistant District Attorney Norm Gahn reviewed the case file and discovered that the DNA reports done by different laboratories—one by a Wisconsin crime lab and another by a private laboratory in Switzerland—had conflicting results. Gahn realized that these inconsistencies suggested the results were erroneous.

Gahn contacted Holloway’s attorney who contacted the Wisconsin Innocence Project. Keith Findley, co-founder of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, and a team of law students reviewed the case and convinced the prosecution to submit the evidence for reanalysis using the most up-to-date DNA testing procedures.

In 2016, the DNA testing on cuttings from the Maria’s underwear showed that the prior testing should have excluded Maria’s husband. The retesting did, in fact, exclude him. Most important, the testing identified the presence of male DNA from an unknown person and conclusively excluded Holloway. No further testing was performed in the other case.

The Milwaukee County district attorney’s office joined with the Wisconsin Innocence Project to request that Judge Jeffrey Wagner, who presided over Holloway’s trial in 1993, vacate Holloway’s conviction. On October 4, 2016, Holloway was released after Judge Wagner vacated the convictions and, at the request of the prosecution, dismissed the charges.

In August 2017, Holloway was arrested in Milwaukee on charges of breaking into a home and stealing a purse and a gun. He told police that he only wanted the gun because he wanted to commit suicide, but then changed his mind. In April 2018, Holloway pled guilty to burglary and illegal possession of a weapon.

in October 2019, Holloway filed federal civil rights lawsuit seeking compensation for his wrongful conviction. The lawsuit was dismissed in September 2021. In 2022, he was convicted of theft.

In 2022, the Wisconsin Claims Board awarded Holloway $25,000--the maximum allowed under the law--plus $100,000 in attorney's fees. In August 2022, the Claims Board agreed to a $1 million award, which required approval by the Wisconsin legislature in 2023.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 10/28/2016
Last Updated: 8/23/2023
Most Serious Crime:Sexual Assault
Additional Convictions:Burglary/Unlawful Entry
Reported Crime Date:1992
Age at the date of reported crime:24
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:Yes