MORGANTOWN, W.Va.— WVU Law's West Virginia Innocence Project recently helped overturn the conviction of a man who spent more than seven years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
On May 1, Judge Alfred E. Ferguson of Cabell County, West Virginia, vacated the manslaughter conviction of Nathaniel Barnett in light of newly-tested DNA evidence. Barnett was convicted in connection with the 2002 murder of Deanna Crawford.
Ferguson gave the Cabell County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office 90 days to decide if they want a new trial for Barnett or if the charges should be dismissed.
Nathaniel Barnett, his brother Phillip, Justin Black and Brian Dement were all convicted in 2008 of charges related to Crawford’s murder despite the lack of physical evidence connecting them to the crime scene.