#209 Finds Freedom

In 1996, Chad Heins was convicted of the 1994 murder of his sister-in-law, Tina. After spending 13 years in prison, Chad today became the 209th person in the United States to be exonerated through DNA testing, according to the Innocence Project which was instrumental in securing Chad’s release.

Although Chad’s murder conviction was thrown out last year based on DNA test results from hair and skin samples found at the crime scene, prosecutors prepared to retry him. Last month, additional DNA tests were performed on semen samples taken from the bed of the victim. Those tests indicated that one man was the source of all three samples, and that that man was not Chad Heins.

While the Florida State Attorney’s office in Jacksonville has dismissed all charges against Chad, it has not yet fully acknowledged that Chad is, in fact, innocent. But at least it is continuing to investigate and now has solid evidence that may lead to the real assailant.