Tommy Ward — one of the subjects of Netflix’s true-crime docuseries “The Innocent Man,” who was convicted of abduction, rape and the murder of an Oklahoma woman — is to be released from prison (where he was sentenced to life) and all charges against him dismissed, Ward’s legal team announced Saturday.
“Breaking news: Judge orders Tommy released and vacates his conviction. This is new info, and we’re trying to figure what this means right now. More to come. Here’s a link to the decision,” Mark Barrett & The Center on Wrongful Convictions tweeted, with the legal documents confirming the move attached.
The ruling came down Friday from District Judge Paula Inge in Pontotoc County, who concluded in post-conviction finding that the “case rested on circumstantial evidence in the form of conflicted witness’ statements” and Ward’s inculpatory statements he gave to police.
The six-part docuseries series, based on John Grisham’s 2006 best-selling non-fiction book “The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town,” tells the story of Ronald Keith Williamson, a man wrongfully convicted of rape and murder who spent 11 years on death row before he was exonerated. It also accounts the false convictions of Ward and Karl Fontenot for the murder of Denice Haraway and the false conviction of Greg Wilhoit for the rape and murder of his estranged wife.
Breaking news: Judge orders Tommy released and vacates his conviction. This is new info, and we’re trying to figure what this means right now. More to come. Here’s a link to the decision https://t.co/21UQag7LEi
— Tommy Ward: The Innocent Man (@WardInnocentMan) December 19, 2020