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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, June 25, 2019 3:46 pm

Wrongfully convicted man is killed 13 years after release

By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) A Mississippi man who spent nearly 12 years imprisoned for a wrongful conviction has been fatally shot, 13 years after his release.

Jackson police say 44-year-old Cedric Willis was killed Monday on a city street. No one has been arrested.

In 1994, at age 19, Willis was charged in two robberies. One included a rape and the other a death. DNA testing cleared him of the rape. Though the crimes were likely committed by the same person, Willis was convicted in 1997 of murder and robbery and sentenced to life plus 90 years.

Innocence Project New Orleans investigated Willis' case in 2004, and he won a new trial. Prosecutors joined in asking a judge to dismiss murder and robbery charges.

In 2006, the judge agreed and Willis was freed.

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This story has been corrected to Cedric Willis's sentence was life plus 90 years, not life plus 99 years.