Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine gave conditional pardons Thursday to three sailors sentenced to life in prison for the 1997 rape and murder of a Navy wife. The conditional pardons freed Derek Tice, Danial Williams and Joseph Dick Jr. but did not wipe clean their criminal records. They will be on supervised probation for at least 10 years.
The three were part of the “Norfolk Four” in a case that has made headlines in Virginia for a decade. Kaine rejected the clemency petition of Eric Wilson, a fourth sailor convicted of rape who received a shorter sentence and was released in 2005. All four men were convicted in connection with the death of Michelle Moore-Bosko, 18, who was found raped and murdered in her Norfolk apartment. A fifth man, Omar Ballard, was later convicted and said he acted alone. His DNA alone was found at the scene, and he is serving a life sentence. The other four confessed then quickly recanted, blaming coercive police tactics, including threats of capital punishment.