BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Louisiana man could be freed Tuesday after nearly 50 years in prison for a rape conviction recently thrown out by a judge who concluded authorities withheld evidence.
State District Court Judge Richard Anderson overturned Wilbert Jones’ conviction Oct. 31, saying the case against him was “weak, at best” and authorities withheld evidence that could have exonerated Jones decades ago.
Anderson scheduled a hearing Tuesday to hear arguments over whether Jones should be released. Defense attorneys’ want Jones released immediately or freed on “minimal” bail.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore’s office is asking the Louisiana Supreme Court to review the judge’s decision. In the meantime, prosecutors want Jones to stay behind bars.
Jones, now 65, was 19 when police arrested him on suspicion of abducting