Did Golden State Killer Commit Murder That Sent Innocent Man to Prison for Nearly 40 Years?
Craig Coley served 39 years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and her son, but was later cleared by DNA evidence.
Joseph James DeAngelo, the man arrested in the Golden State Killer case, may be responsible for two murders that were pinned on the wrong man, authorities said.
Craig Coley served 39 years for the murders of his ex-girlfriend, Rhonda Wicht, and her 4-year-old son, Donnie. Last year, he was freed by California Gov. Jerry Brown after new DNA evidence proved Coley was not the killer.
Investigators now say they will have that DNA tested to see if it matches DeAngelo.
"I don't want anyone — I don't care who they are — to get a trial like I had," Coley said.
Coley had languished in prison until police officer Mike Bender became convinced of his innocence. He campaigned for more than three decades to have the case reopened.
After his release, he was taken to Bender's home, where he celebrated Thanksgiving. Now 70, he has since gotten his learner's permit so he can drive again. He has met with the officer who originally arrested him and said he holds no grudge.
A GoFundMe account established to help him rejoin civilian life has raised more than $74,000.
"All I can do is accept what has happened and move forward and live my life as best I can in a healthy, godly manner," he said. "The only other choice I have is to be bitter and let them ruin the rest of the life I have here."
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