In New Haven, Connecticut, a court had Bobby Johnson released after the man had served nine years of his 38-year murder sentence for the death of 70-year-old Herbert Field. Johnson had been convicted of robbing and killing Fields in 2006, when Johnson was only 16-years-old, but the court now believes Johnson was coerced into falsely confessing to murder since he had a low IQ and he was questioned without a parent or guardian present.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Massachusetts cop Bryan Johnson triggered a manhunt by falsely claiming a gunman tried to kill him, but now the officer says he “blacked out” right before everything occurred.
The court said they had Bobby Johnson released because New Haven state’s attorney Michael Dearington filed a motion to vacate the conviction because new information in the murder case had “sufficiently undermined the state’s confidence in the judgement of conviction.” This does not mean Johnson is acquitted of the crime, but it does mean the prosecutor and judge both believe there is a lack of evidence.
Johnson and a 14-year-old friend were arrested for the shooting death of Herbert Fields during a robbery. At the time, Johnson had a low IQ of 69, which is below the threshold for mental impairment. Johnson’s attorney, Kenneth Rosenthal, argued that New Haven police officers lied about having evidence in order to get a confession out of Johnson.
“[They] told Bobby that they knew that he did it. That they had evidence that he did it,” Rosenthal said, “that they had his fingerprints on the car. And, that everybody was saying he did it. None of which was true.”
The lawyer explained that the bullet which killed the 70-year-old man was connected to a gun found in another man’s possession “who fit the description of one of the perpetrators and who had a history of committing crimes including a murder that had been committed with the same gun.” In addition, the murdered man’s daughter, Susan Troxler, also believed the court needed to have Bobby Johnson released from prison.
“I’ve seen from the beginning that there wasn’t enough evidence against Bobby Johnson. So, I didn’t even have any closure when Bobby said he was guilty. I had no closure,” Troxler said, according to FOX CT.
Police officers had claimed the boy faced the death penalty but would only get probation if he confessed. Instead, he was sentenced to 38 years in prison, while the 14-year-old friend was acquitted and detained for only 18 months.
Although the court eventually had Bobby Johnson released, the actual murderer was never found. According to the Associated Press, Dearington says the cold case is still under investigation.
[Image via Connecticut Department Of Corrections]