DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Larry Sims was like a brother to the growing group of exonorees in Dallas. He spent 24 years of his life in prison for a rape conviction and was finally released on parole after DNA tests raised serious doubts that he committed the crime.
He was given his freedom in January of 2011 and died about a year later. Now his family is fighting to get him to his final resting place.
“It’s hard,” says his aunt Dearline Sims. “It’s real hard.”
According to the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office, Sims died of congestive heart failure. More than two weeks after his death, his family says he still hasn’t gotten a proper burial.
“The problem is that she won’t let us bury him she wants to have him cremated and that’s not what we want as a family we want to bury him out where his mother is,” says Dearline Sims.
Sims lived with Beverly Green in Dallas. Green says they had a common law marriage and he wanted to be cremated.
“The man didn’t have any peace for many years while incarcerated he deserves to have some peace in death,” says Cory Session who is the policy director with the Innocence Project of Texas.
Even though DNA freed Sims, he’s not been fully cleared of all wrongdoing. He was freed on a personal recognizance bond while his case was processed.
“So he is still considered a sex offender and convicted felon for a crime DNA says he did not do,” says Session, who will be working with the family to clear his name.
He says Sims biggest battle was righting the wrong – his family says they just never thought it would be his final resting place.
Right after Sims was released from prison he went to the cemetery in Dallas where his mother was buried to pay his respects.
His mother Dorothy died while he was locked up.