DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - For years, Richard Miles waited for the words to be spoken. And on Wednesday morning, Dallas County Judge Andy Chatman finally utterred those words. “This court finds you innocent,” Judge Chatman ruled. “Today you are a free man.”
Miles, once a convicted murderer, smiled before hugging his attorney, Cheryl Wattley. He spent 14 years in prison for the shooting death of a Dallas man in 1995. While steadfastly proclaiming his innocence, the Dallas District Attorney’s Conviction Integrity Unit agreed to re-examine Miles’ case.
In 2009, District Attorney Craig Watkins announced a troubling discovery connected to Miles’ criminal trial. “There is no question that his constitutional rights were violated … because of the evidence that was withheld,” Watkins announced in 2009. Investigators found two police reports that were not turned over to Miles’ attorneys. The reports had detailed information about the murder and the individual involved. Prosecutors failed their legal obligation to hand the information over.
On Wednesday, Miles, after two years of being free on personal recognizance, was offically exonerated from a wrongful conviction.
Miles said that he plans to file a prosecutorial misconduct suit against the former Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted him. “Years of my life were taken because of the malicious actions by a prosecutor,” he said. Tom D’Amore, the former prosecutor in the case, has not been reached for comment. But in 2009, D’Amore told CBS 11 News that he did not recollect the case.
LISTEN: KRLD’s Emily Trube reports
Miles on Wednesday said that D’Amore unethically and illegally coerced a witness in the murder trial to identify Miles as the shooter. “He may not remember,” Miles said, “but I do.”
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