David Ayers, 54, was released from prison in Ohio yesterday after serving more than a decade for killing an elderly woman in 2000. His freedom came six months after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit reversed his conviction over a judge’s having allowed a jailhouse informant to testify at his trial, says the Columbus Dispatch.
DNA testing on crime-scene evidence that included a pubic hair found in the victim's mouth, a bloody towel and swabs that were part of a rape kit excluded Ayers. “He was wrongfully convicted and innocent, period,” said public defender Robert Tobik. “The DNA testing was significant and helped Mr. Ayers get his life back.” Ayers' case was highlighted in the Dispatch series “Test of Convictions,” which exposed Ohio's flawed evidence-retention and DNA-testing systems. The 2008 series had led to the exoneration of three men before Ayers' release and proved the guilt of four others based on DNA testing during the past two years.