RNA - Alfred Chestnut, Ransom Watkins and Andrew Stewart were released from custody hours after a judge cleared their convictions and prosecutors dropped the charges. They were teenagers when they were sentenced to life in prison in 1984, AP reported.
“On behalf of the criminal justice system, and I’m sure this means very little to you gentlemen, I’m going to apologize," Circuit Court Judge Charles Peters told the men, The Baltimore Sun reported.
Chestnut, Watkins and Stewart were arrested on November 1983 for the slaying of 14-year-old DeWitt Duckett. The teenager was accosted over his Georgetown jacket and shot in the neck while walking to class at a Baltimore school.
The case was reopened earlier this year by the office of Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby after Chestnut sent a letter to the Conviction Integrity Unit. The Washington Post reported Chestnut included exculpatory evidence he uncovered last year.
Prosecutors now say police reports show multiple witnesses told police that suspect, who was 18 at the time of the crime, was the shooter. One student saw him flee the scene and dump a gun as police arrived at Harlem Park Junior High School, but authorities at the time focused their investigation on the trio.