Baltimore man exonerated from prison after almost 30 years for murder he didn’t commit


This week, a newly freed and overwhelmed Baltimore man fell into the arms of his defense attorney – with relief  – after spending 27 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit.

According to the Baltimore Sun, Tuesday afternoon, the courtroom erupted in tears and applause after Clarence Shipley Jr. was exonerated of robbing and killing a 29-year-old chef in Cherry Hill almost thirty years ago.

“Mr. Shipley, have a happy holiday,” the prosecutor turned and said directly to the prisoner who had been unjustly convicted due to faulty witness testimony and imprisoned at only 20 years old.

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“Good luck, sir,” Baltimore Circuit Judge Jeffrey Geller also chimed in, echoing the sentiments of just about everyone present.

“Thank you,” said a visibly humbled Shipley, who is finally headed home to his wife just in time for Christmas.

The 47-years-old has always maintained his innocence for the last three decades but it was just four years ago that his friends and family decided to hire a retired homicide detective who was able to uncover mistakes in Shipley’s case. He is now the fourth man exonerated under the partnership of nonprofit innocence projects run by the University of Baltimore, George Washington University and Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.

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“The system did something wrong that a man, an innocent man, in the prime of his life, spent 27 years behind bars,” Mosby opined while standing outside the courthouse.

“It’s very difficult,” Shipley’s attorney, Michele Nethercott, said of his long road to freedom. “When you are the defendant and you’ve been convicted, you bear the burden.”

Attorneys and assistant state’s attorneys in Baltimore working with the innocence project interviewed new witnesses who identified the killer as Larry Davis. But because Davis died in 2005 he will never be brought to justice.

After the ruling Shipley’s family gathered outside the courthouse to await his release. His mother, Ola, told the press that she made a habit of calling her son behind bars to remind him to always have faith.

“You got to keep praying,” she said. “Look at what God did. He opened the door.”