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Naythen Aubain

Other Guilty Plea Exonerations in New York
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On March 2, 2016, a guard accused 26-year-old Naythen Aubain, an inmate at the Auburn Correctional Facility in Auburn, New York, of illegally possessing a shank.

The guard, 33-year-old Matthew Cornell, reported that Aubain was caught carrying the weapon during a search.

Aubain contended that he was innocent and that the weapon had been planted. Nevertheless, on October 26, 2016, he pled guilty to possession of the shank. He was sentenced to two to four years in prison, to be served consecutive to the sentence he was serving for a prior second-degree robbery conviction.

In December 2016, Cayuga County District Attorney Jon Budelman revealed that Cornell had admitted planting a weapon on a different inmate at the Auburn prison. Cornell said that the inmate was a member of a prison gang, and he wanted him transferred to another prison to try to break up the gang.

Because of Cornell’s admission, the inmate involved in that incident was not charged with a crime. However, Budelman then asked a Cayuga County Supreme Court judge to vacate the convictions of Aubain and four other inmates, all of whom had pled guilty even though they claimed at the time that the weapons had been planted. Cornell was the guard who said he found the weapons in all five cases.

On January 19, 2017, Aubain’s conviction was vacated and the charge was dismissed.

That same month, the convictions of Thomas Ozzborn, Sean Gaines, Donnesia Brown, and Jose Muniz also were vacated and the charges were dismissed.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 7/17/2017
State:New York
County:Cayuga
Most Serious Crime:Weapon Possession or Sale
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:2016
Convicted:2016
Exonerated:2017
Sentence:2 to 4 years
Race:Black
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:26
Contributing Factors:Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No