'The Innocence Project' Says Two Men Wrongfully Convicted of Murder in Talbot County
Jonathan Smith Sr. and David Faulkner are shown Monday, Oct. 26, 2015 in front of the Talbot County courthouse. (Photo: WBOC)
EASTON, Md.- On Jan. 5, 1987, a home in Easton was burglarized. The owner of the home, 64-year-old Adeline Wilford, was murdered. Thirteen years after her murder, two men were convicted and sent to prison. On Monday, a group called The Innocence Project was in Talbot County court with evidence it believes could vindicate David Faulkner and Jonathan Smith Sr.
The two men have spent 15 years behind bars. But has it all been for a crime they didn't commit?
That was the topic of discussion at the Talbot County Circuit Courthouse on Monday. Lawyers for the two men say they their clients are innocent, and have been all this time.
"Jonathan Smith and David Faulkner were convicted in 2000 based primarily on confessions and incentivised witnesses. These are issues the Innocence Project says result in convictions very frequently," said Bryce Benjet with the Innocence Project.
One of the key pieces of evidence is a palm print found at the murder scene.
"That palm print has now been identified as belonging to someone who has no connection to our clients. Therefore, we've asked for a hearing where all of this evidence can be considered by a judge, because it shows that our clients are innocent," said Benjet.
Unfortunately for these two men, if they are indeed innocent, it's going to be more of a marathon than a sprint to get them out of jail. First they have to go through the motions process, then they have to go through a five day evidentiary hearing to find out if they will then have to go back to trial. In the meantime, the two men stay behind bars.
The hope is that if these two men are innocent, they will soon be released and back with their families.
On March 4, there will be a motions hearing, the evidentiary hearing is set for the week of April 11.