DALLAS (CN) – Two Dallas men sentenced to life in prison for the 1983 abduction, rape and shooting of a woman are innocent, the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office said.
Raymond Jackson and James Curtis Williams were convicted of aggravated sexual assault and were released on parole in 2011. Prosecutors today will ask state District Judge Susan Hawk to formally exonerate both men.
“This case demonstrates the complete circle of our efforts to seek justice,” Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins said in a statement.
“Through the use of DNA testing, our Conviction Integrity Unit not only proved that Raymond Jackson and James Williams were wrongfully convicted of this offense, but through further DNA testing we identified the alleged actual perpetrators of this violent offense. The new cases were presented to a Dallas County grand jury earlier this month, and Marion Sayles and Frederick Anderson have been indicted for attempted capital murder.”
Jackson and Williams were identified as the perpetrators at the time of trial, according to court records. The DNA testing cleared both men this year.
Prosecutors say the victim survived the assault after being shot and left for dead in a field at the side of a road. After Jackson and Williams were convicted, she moved out of the country. Prosecutors located her and she agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of Sayles and Anderson.
Three weeks ago, Watkins’ office askeda state district judge to exonerate three men in a 1994 aggravated robbery to which four other men confessed.