Man freed after 32 years in prison for LA murder after DA admits errors

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A man who spent 32 years behind bars for murder was ordered released on Wednesday after the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office acknowledged there were mistakes made that denied him a fair trial.

Andrew Wilson, now 62, was convicted of murder in 1986 for the stabbing death of a 21-year-old man who was sleeping in a truck in Los Angeles.

Wilson has always maintained his innocence and eventually his case was taken up by students and Loyola Law School's Project for the Innocent.

"Mr. Wilson is elated," said Paula Mitchell, legal director with Project for the Innocent. "He is so glad this is finally over. When he first contacted our office, one of the things he said to us was this whole ordeal has been a nightmare for my entire family."

Project officials said there were multiple due-process errors in his case and he never received a fair trial. For example, they say investigators never disclosed that the sole witness filed a false police report in another case just before Wilson's trial. They also said there was evidence that the victim's best friend told prosecutors before trial that the victim's girlfriend had stabbed him in the past.

The DA's office recently conceded that its own investigation found that errors were made depriving him of a fair trial and the office does not intend to retry him.

Attorneys say Wilson could potentially file a civil lawsuit in this case, but for now, he wants to hop on a direct flight to St. Louis to see his mother, who turns 97 on May 1.
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