Man Who Spent 28 Years in Prison Cleared by DNA Testing

WASHINGTON —  A man who spent 28 years in prison for a rape and murder has been freed after DNA testing showed he’s innocent.

Fifty-eight-year-old Donald Eugene Gates left the federal prison in Tucson, Ariz., on Tuesday, just hours after a Washington judge ordered his release.

Gates tells The Associated Press it feels “beautiful” to be free. He says his faith in God helped him get through his incarceration.

Judge Fred B. Ugast, who presided over Gates’s trial, ordered his release just hours before.

Gates was convicted of the 1981 rape and murder of 21-year-old Catherine Schilling.

Recent testing showed Gates is not a match for DNA found on Schilling’s body and the work of an Federal Bureau of Investigation forensic analyst involved in the investigation has been called into question.


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