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DNA evidence frees men after two decades in prison

DNA Evidence Frees Men After 2 Decades In Prison


By Megan McLeod
Newsy

After spending more than two decades behind bars for a triple murder, two men from New York are now free - and it's all thanks to new DNA evidence.

The two New York natives recalled the night of the 1992 murders to CNN. Antonio Yarbough, 18 at the time, and Sharrif Wilson, 15, went home after a night of partying. Yarbough found his mother, sister and family friend stabbed and strangled to death.

"Before you know it, I had this photograph shoved in my face, and I was being threatened and slapped around, and they wanted me to sign a false confession," Yarbough said. "And I wouldn't."

But Yarbough's friend Wilson signed a false confession after he says police coerced him into it. And that led to their men's eventual conviction and 21 years behind bars.


​But the New York Daily News reports new DNA evidence surfaced in September 2013. A specimen found on a murder victim in 1999, when both men were already behind bars, matched material found under Yarbough's mother's fingernails. The new evidence suggested his mother's killer is still out there.

Wilson and Yarbough's convictions were overturned and the two were released February 6th.

Upon being released, Wilson told reporters he's trying to decide between an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy. Yarbough, on the other hand, says he's just looking forward to living his life. As for who committed the murders in 1992 and 1999, police have not identified a suspect.

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INB February 09 2014 at 4:47 AM

Maybe this is a GOOD (GOD) reason NOT TO HAVE A DEATH PENALTY, but then ---- 20 years in prison IS A DEATH PENALTY as one does not have their freedom and are on record as being criminals. These sad errors makes my stomach churn....and have to wonder if a potential incarceration decision shouldn't have a second jury! A trial won/lost is only as good as the attorney who represents it....NOT THE COURTS!

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2 replies
kng20 INB February 09 2014 at 6:06 AM

I aggree with you on that. The Death Penalty should only be reserved for Criminals like Bundy. Serial Killers - Sadam Hussain and other like that.

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1 reply
Danny kng20 February 09 2014 at 6:33 AM

The death penalty is the easy way out. The day to life in prison is a nightmare unto itself if you have ever spent even one day there you would know. It is a constant fight for survival.

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robertpsly INB February 09 2014 at 7:06 AM

There are more cases of offenders being released to kill again than there are these improperly imprisoned. So NO, it isn't a "GOOD (GOD) reason NOT TO HAVE A DEATH PENALTY"
These men probably agree with you. At the same time, just days ago there was a story about a cold case where it had been learned that a girl was raped and murdered by someone that was released only four years after raping and murdering another girl.
I'm sure that the second victims family might see things differently than you.

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mjckeet February 08 2014 at 7:31 PM

How does a spcimin found on a murder victim in 1999 relate to the murder in 1992? What it might mean is that pehaps all involver were not caught.

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1 reply
hgmechanic mjckeet February 08 2014 at 7:57 PM

it was on a murded person in 1999 and it matched the dna under mothers finger nails

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Lee February 08 2014 at 7:31 PM

There is absolutely no amount of money that can compensate these two innocent men. 20 years!!!!! I read a comment that s++t happens to people. How cavalier. What if the same s++t happened to you. That is a statement with absolutely no concern for the two young men who went to prison and came out men. Btw, they will never ever be treated fairly, cause in the back of people's mind there will always be doubt. It is a very sad situation. I wish nothing but the best for these two men and thank God for DNA evidence. May God keep these two men in the warmth of his arms and give you the rest of your lives to be lived with dignity and respect.

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wiseskeptics February 09 2014 at 12:05 AM

Corrupt and Lying Police go a long way back, How many innocent people are still in Hell because of Authorities Lying.

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1 reply
tony wiseskeptics February 09 2014 at 12:50 AM

A large herd thou is sure.

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Clark Trucking February 08 2014 at 7:41 PM

21 years of these innocent men's life right down the old cr&pper. 21 years. Nice, law enforcement, DA's and judges. But I know, you're all about protecting the children. LOL.

Cops, DA's and judges are all just thugs. Put who you want in jail, not who deserves to be there. Professionalism in law enforcement. LOL.

Thugs. Jus thugs.

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3 replies
usafgolfrvs February 09 2014 at 12:02 AM

THERE ARE MANY MANY MORE IN JAIL AND NO ONE IS WORKING DNA FOR THEIR RELEASE. AGAIN IT PROVES HOW POLICE HAVE JAILED SO MANY INNOCENT MINORITY NOT GUILTY PEOPLE. SOME WILL DIE IN PRISON FOR CRIMES THEY DID NOT COMITT.WHY IS THIS A SHOCK TO SO MANY, THIS IS NOT NEWS ITS AMERICAN HISTORY.

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KUTZPA LLC February 08 2014 at 7:47 PM

I hope they wipe there records clean. obviously, they should sue the state, and/or the people involved with putting them away. They need money for lost time, mental trauma, or whatever they can...I'm so sorry for these men. I hope they will have wonderful lives (what remains). Your mother proved your innocents. God is good. Good Luck guys.

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1 reply
KUTZPA LLC KUTZPA LLC February 08 2014 at 7:50 PM

Their, not there.

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tomias February 08 2014 at 7:48 PM

Think there should be some kind of punishment for the people who convict innocent people!
Do they get any compensation from the state, if not they should, by way of the Judge and the prosecuting attorney that put them in prison. If they already get compensation than it should be raised!!!!!!!!!!!!

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1 reply
jakki051 tomias February 08 2014 at 8:35 PM

I do too! I think they should serve the same amount of years the people who were wrongfully convicted served! It should be mandatory! Then and only then will it be half way compensation for the wrong done. The other half will never be made right as they can never get the years of their life wasted and youth back!

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Lynda February 08 2014 at 7:49 PM

Pretty pathetic when the cops don,t want to do their job---Like Investigate. Put them behind bars for 20 years.

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1 reply
jakki051 Lynda February 08 2014 at 8:31 PM

I agree. Everybody involved in that case should be put behind bars including the judge and make them serve the same amount of years these men did! Only then will it be even!

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La'Monica February 08 2014 at 7:49 PM

unbeleivable not even an apology. i pray that a civil suit at least is on its way for wrongful incarceration

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1 reply
jakki051 La'Monica February 08 2014 at 8:30 PM

Even if they gave me an apology, that would not be acceptable or enough for all the years I would have spent in there ! No amount of money, apologies or anything could make it right and give me back my years and youth!

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