Ventura man imprisoned 34 years freed after DNA tested
November 25, 2014
A Ventura man who was imprisoned for 34 years for murder was released Monday after DNA evidence was found not to belong to either him or his alleged accomplice. While in prison, the convicted inmate married a Paso Robles woman. [LA Times]
Ventura County prosecutors told a judge they were no longer sure Michael Hanline was involved in the 1980 murder of Ventura resident J.T. McGarry. The finding came after lawyers from the California Innocence Project persuaded prosecutors to reexamine evidence that helped sentence Hamline to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In addition to issues with DNA evidence, investigators discovered that during Hanline’s 1980 murder trial, prosecutors withheld evidence that cast doubt on testimony that led to Hanline’s conviction.
While the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office determines if it wants a retrial, a judge ordered Hanline released on $2,500 bail.