On the evening of July 21, 1983, William Smiddy, 25, was in a nightclub in Houston, Texas, and believed he saw a man take $20 from a waitress’s tray before exiting the club. Smiddy followed the man outside and a scuffle ensued, ending in the man shooting and killing Smiddy. Several witnesses to the shooting identified the shooter as 32-year-old Everett Baily Malloy. Malloy was quickly arrested for the killing.
Although he denied his guilt and presented alibi witnesses at trial, Malloy was convicted in February 1984, and sentenced to 15 years in prison by State District Judge George Walker.
The eyewitnesses who had identified Malloy as the killer had stated that he was with a woman at the time Smiddy was shot. Two months after Malloy’s conviction, this female companion’s identity was discovered. When police located her, she informed them that a different man – Joseph Franklin Shelton – and not Malloy, had killed Smiddy.
Following this discovery, Shelton was charged with the murder of Smiddy, and Malloy was released on bond and granted a new trial. The charges against Malloy were dismissed in June 1984.
– Meghan Barrett Cousino
The National Registry of Exonerations is a project of the Newkirk Center for Science & Society at University of California Irvine, the University of Michigan Law School and Michigan State University College of Law. It was founded in 2012 in conjunction with the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law. The Registry provides detailed information about every known exoneration in the United States since 1989—cases in which a person was wrongly convicted of a crime and later cleared of all the charges based on new evidence of innocence. The Registry also maintains a more limited database of known exonerations prior to 1989.
We welcome new information from any source about exonerations already on our list and about cases not in the Registry that might be exonerations.