County of Conviction: McDowellConvicted of: 1st Degree Murder and 1st Degree Arson
Sentence: Life with Mercy
Time Served: 14 years
WVIP Involvement: Exonerated Client
Charles Jason Lively is an innocent man who spent 14 years of his life incarcerated due to false fire "science" testimony.
Mr. Lively was convicted of 1st Degree Murder and 1st Degree Arson in 2007 for the murder of Dr. Ebb K. "Doc" Whitley at his home in Iaeger, West Virginia on March 15, 2005. The fire expert hired by the state in post-conviction, Dr. Craig Beyler, found the fire was not arson. Additional testing by Dr. Glen Jackson, another state expert, corroborated Dr. Beyler’s opinion that the fire was not incendiary.
The West Virginia Innocence Project worked with attorneys at Baker Botts L.L.P. to prove Mr. Lively's innocence.
On September 23, 2020, Jason’s conviction was finally vacated after his attorneys filed an Unopposed Motion to Vacate Convictions in McDowell County Circuit Court which was granted. Jason now resides with his fiancée, Billie Jo Blankenship in North Carolina.