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The Latest: Man to be freed after 1971 conviction tossed

November 14, 2017 - 1:08 PM

BATON ROUGE, La. - The Latest on a Louisiana man who will be freed after nearly 50 years in prison for a rape conviction (all times local):

3 p.m.

A Louisiana man who has spent nearly 50 years in prison will be freed after a judge overturned his conviction in the kidnapping and rape of a nurse.

State District Court Judge Richard Anderson set Wilbert Jones' bail at $2,000 after hearing arguments from defence attorneys and prosecutors in a Baton Rouge courtroom. One of his lawyers expects him to be released Wednesday.

Anderson threw out Jones' conviction on Oct. 31, saying authorities withheld evidence that could have exonerated Jones decades ago.

Jones, now 65, was 19 when police arrested him on suspicion of raping the nurse in 1971. Anderson said authorities concealed "highly favourable" evidence that the crime was committed by another man linked to two similar attacks.

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3:20 a.m.

A Louisiana man could be freed after nearly 50 years in prison for a rape conviction recently thrown out by a judge who concluded authorities withheld evidence.

State District Court Judge Richard Anderson overturned Wilbert Jones' conviction on Oct. 31, saying the case against him was "weak, at best." He also says authorities withheld evidence that could have exonerated Jones decades ago.

Anderson scheduled a hearing Tuesday to hear arguments over whether Jones should be released. Defence attorneys' want Jones released immediately or freed on "minimal" bail.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore's office is asking the Louisiana Supreme Court to review the judge's decision. In the meantime, prosecutors want Jones to stay behind bars.

News from © The Associated Press, 2017
The Associated Press

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