A man convicted of killing a woman in 1979 was released from prison on Monday after prosecutors noted misconduct in the case.
Reginald Adams has spent the last 34 years behind bars for the death of Cathy Ulfers, the wife of a New Orleans police officer. His conviction was based on a false testimony of NOPD officers.
Adams confessed to the crime during a four-hour interrogation in which he claims he was given drugs and alcohol. Adams’ confession, prosecutors now acknowledge, was inconsistent with the physical evidence.
Also, supplemental police reports which were never shared with Adams’ defense, showed that homicide detectives Martin Venezia and Sam Gebbia, who investigated the killing in eastern New Orleans, were aware of a weapon found that matched the ballistics report of Ulfers’ murder and was traced back to two other people, court papers say.
Adams was convicted of first-degree murder in 1983 but the case was overturned by the Louisiana Supreme Court. He was retried in 1990 on charges of second-degree murder and again convicted.
Assistant District Attorneys Ronald Bodenheimer and Harold Gilbert prosecuted the case based entirely on the confession and claimed that the murder weapon was never recovered.
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said Boedenheimer and Gilbert “were fully aware of the additional suspects as well as the recovery of the murder weapon and other physical evidence and that their handling of this case amounts to intentional prosecutorial misconduct.”
Innocence Project New Orleans Director, Emily Maw, along with attorneys Caroline Milne and Michael Magner, requested a review of the conviction on Adams’ behalf.
Really makes you wonder how many more innocent people are trapped behind bars.
Best of luck to Mr. Adams as he starts this new chapter as a free man.
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