WVIP Client's Brother Released from Prison

Innocence Project Client Philip Barnett Released from Prison After Serving 10 Years for a Murder DNA Proves He Didn’t Commit

(West Virginia–August 9, 2018) Innocence Project client Philip Barnett was released from Parkersburg Correctional Center this afternoon after having posted bail set earlier today by Judge Alfred E. Ferguson of West Virginia’s Sixth Judicial Circuit in Huntington, West Virginia. The court agreed to set bail in the amount of $50,000 while Barnett’s habeas petition based on new and exculpatory DNA evidence is pending.   

“We are grateful that Mr. Barnett was released today and are hopeful given the strength of the DNA evidence that the District Attorney will continue to move quickly to vacate the convictions against Mr. Barnett and the others who served many years for a crime they didn’t commit,” said Karen Thompson, Senior Staff Attorney with the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law.  

Barnett was convicted of the 2002 crime based almost exclusively on the contradictory statements of Brian Dement. The case had gone cold for five years until police arrested Dement on an unrelated charge. Dement, who was addicted to drugs at the time, was interrogated for eight hours and gave three conflicting statements implicating himself; Barnett; Barnett’s brother, Nathan; and Justin Black, a friend of the Barnett brothers.  

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