Local / Virginia

Hearing continues on ex-sailors’ innocence claims

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — An evidentiary hearing is continuing in Richmond for two former sailors who claim they falsely confessed to a 1997 rape and murder.

A federal judge has already heard testimony from former sailors Danial Williams and Joseph Dick Jr. They are two of the so-called Norfolk Four, who have long claimed that police coerced them into falsely confessing. In 2009, then-Gov. Tim Kaine freed them from prison because of doubts about their guilt, but he let their convictions stand. Now the men are trying to get the convictions tossed.

Prosecution witnesses, including some former Norfolk detectives, are expected to testify Friday.

The case drew national attention when the Norfolk Four’s innocence claims were backed by dozens of former FBI agents, ex-prosecutors and novelist John Grisham.


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