'Norfolk Four' seek exoneration

July 5, 2011 at 10:12 PM
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NORFOLK, Va., July 5 (UPI) -- Three of the "Norfolk Four," sailors convicted in the rape and killing of another sailor's wife, have asked the Virginia Supreme Court to declare them innocent.

All four were released from prison in 2009 after Gov. Tim Kaine granted them partial pardons. Kaine found problems with the prosecution but not enough to free them completely.

Stephen Northup, who represents Eric Wilson, said his client and his co-defendants continue to suffer even though they are no longer in prison, The Virginian-Pilot reported. They must register as sex offenders, which limits where they can live and interferes with their ability to work.

Wilson was convicted of raping Michelle Moore-Bosko, 18. Danial Williams, Joseph Dick and Derek Tice were also convicted of murder but Tice's conviction was set aside by a federal judge.

Another man, Omar Ballard, admitted the 1997 crime after his DNA was matched to that found at the scene. He originally said the others were involved but has since said he acted alone.

Lawyers for the other men say Robert Ford, a former Norfolk police detective, coerced confessions from them. Ford has since been convicted of corruption in an unrelated case, the newspaper said.

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