The judgments of Dupree Glass and Juan Rayford ended in a retrial that began in October when a state appeals court panel overturned their convictions and they were released in 2020, according to the ‘AP. The defense team claimed the real shooter, Chad Brandon McZeal, a gang member serving a life sentence for murder in a separate case, made a startling confession during the hearings.
Following the judge’s decision, Glass and Rayford hugged each other and their legal representatives. The guys were cheered on by relatives and admirers outside the courtroom. Holding his baby girl close, Rayford described it as an “incredible” feeling to finally see their records expunged and their reputations repaired. “I’ve given a lot of thought to this day. During the 17 years I’ve been inside, I’ve given it some consideration. Throughout my last two years of freedom, I’ve given it some consideration. I waited for this day because, well, I knew I was ‘guilty of none of the crimes they said I committed,’ he said.
Defense lawyers said the case was the first to be brought under a provision that provides compensation for defendants whose convictions are overturned and allows them to prove their innocence.
When they were arrested after a gunshot in an incident involving a group of teenagers in Lancaster, north of Los Angeles, Glass and Rayford were 17 and 18 years old respectively. According to court documents, two people were shot and injured, although they weren’t seriously injured. Both attackers received 11 consecutive life sentences after being convicted of 11 counts of attempted murder. Only two witnesses who later changed their accounts were relied upon extensively in the convictions of Glass and Rayford.
The teenagers, who had no criminal record, insisted from the start that they were not responsible for the shooting. Glass, 36, and Rayford, 37, are now employed by Walmart as drivers. Rayford is with the woman he fell in love with in high school and who waited for him in prison. Both guys are brand new dads of little girls.
Just to give you some clarity on the story, this video was made 3 years ago:
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