Twenty-three times Matthew Fields, 18, told a Louisville detective he had nothing to do with a sexual assault of a woman in her home. The detective told Fields police could prove he did it. Midway through a two-hour interrogation, Fields told police what they were waiting to hear — he did it, although much of the information he gave about the crime was wrong. For the next year, he sat in jail, awaiting trial. Yesterday, says the Louisville Courier-Journal, prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss the case,because DNA tests on semen found at the woman’s home didn’t belong to Fields. The semen belonged to a 36-year-old convicted felon, whom police are now looking at as a suspect in the case.
Defense attorney Rob Eggert said his client confessed because he thought police would let him leave if he told them what they wanted to hear. Fields’ defense says it was a slipshod investigation — failing to test DNA evidence, coercing a confession, and ignoring a lack of evidence — that wrongly implicated him. A prosecutor defended the probe, saying police ask a suspect several times and in different ways about a crime, expecting that the suspect will lie. “Generally, when someone commits a crime they are not going to raise their hand and volunteer the information,” she said.