4 Sailors pardoned in 1997 rape, murder of Navy wife

NORFOLK, Va. (WTKR) - Governor Terry McAuliffe has pardoned four Sailors convicted for the 1997 rape and murder of a Norfolk Navy wife.

The Governor's Office released a statement Tuesday:

The Governor has approved the 4 absolute pardons in the case of the "Norfolk Four" following a careful review of the facts in the case and the recent decision by United States District Court Judge John Gibney. These pardons close the final chapter on a grave injustice that has plagued these 4 men for nearly 20 years. While former Governor Kaine had initially granted conditional pardons in the case, more exculpatory information discovered since then and detailed by Judge Gibney during exhaustive evidentiary proceedings indicate that absolute pardons are appropriate.

U.S. Navy Veterans Danial Williams, Joseph Dick, Derek Tice and Eric Wilson, known as "The Norfolk Four," reportedly confessed to police, but recanted their confessions and said they were coerced.

In 2016, a U.S. Federal Judge said Williams and Dick did not commit the murder and rape of Michelle Moore-Bosko, even though they pleaded guilty two decades ago.

In 2011, Tice was released from jail after his sentence was overturned.

Police later arrested Omar Ballard after they learned it was his DNA at the scene of the crime. He insisted he acted alone.

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