Oklahoma man walks free after judge tosses murder conviction

Ponca City Now - July 20, 2016 11:36 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – An Oklahoma judge has vacated the murder conviction of a man who was serving a life sentence for a 1998 killing.

Oklahoma County District Judge Timothy Henderson vacated the conviction for 34-year-old Salaam Moore, who was released from custody Monday night. Moore's attorneys had argued there was no physical evidence linking him to the death of Phillip Gonzales.

At trial, prosecutors argued that Moore shot and wounded a woman, then killed Gonzales, as part of a drug dispute. Moore was convicted in 2001 of shooting with intent to kill and first-degree murder, based on eyewitness testimony. At Monday's court hearing, prosecutors agreed to dismiss the case.

Moore tells Oklahoma City television KOKH (http://bit.ly/29UgZwI ) he was "dumbfounded" and "distraught" after his conviction but that he was determined to prove his innocence.

Salaam Moore spent 18 years behind bars wrongfully convicted of murder. But his case was dismissed and charges vacated, largely thanks to his fiancee Lola Gaines, pictured here. (Courtesy of Lola Gaines)

 

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