Durham Superior Court Judge Orlando Hudson dismissed all charges against Erick Daniels, who has served seven years in prison for a robbery he did not commit.
Hudson ruled on three points: Daniels, who was 15 at the time of his conviction, had ineffective assistance of counsel during his trial; Durham County Prosecutor Freda Black failed to turn over exculpatory evidence; and there is new evidence that points to his innocence.
In 2001, a jury convicted Daniels of robbing and burglarizing the home of Ruth Brown, a police department employee; a judge sentenced Daniels to 10 to 14 years in prison.
Black won the case without incriminating physical evidence, relying instead on the victim’s eyewitness testimony, which evidence suggests was flawed. Daniels, who was 14 at the time of the robbery and 15 at trial, has always maintained his innocence. A 2007 investigation by Mosi Secret in the Independent, “Stolen youth,” supported Daniels’ claims.
Look for in-depth coverage in next week’s Indy.