Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Chad Heins

First NameChad
Last NameHeins
Year of Conviction1996
Year of Exoneration2007
State of ConvictionFlorida
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeMurder
Death SentenceNo
Life / LWOP sentenceLife
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Third Party Guilt
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Three witnesses testified that victim’s husband (who was also the defendant’s brother) made inculpatory statements suggesting he was responsible for his wife’s murder.

Did the defendant testify at trial?Yes
Quotes from Exoneree Testimony

“Q: Chad did you have anything to do with the death of [the victim]? A: No sir. Q: Did you kill [the victim]? A: No sir. Q: Did you attempt to have any type of sexual relationship with her on April 17, 1994? A: No sir.”

Types of evidence at trial
  • Forensic Evidence
  • Informant
  • Other
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • DNA
  • Hair
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Invalid
Reason why invalid(3) Incorrect frequency provided
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

The analyst failed to provide the relevant statistic for population included by DQ Alpha type. See Part II.C. for discussion of this case. Hair comparison excluded the defendant.

Jailhouse informant, Co-defendant, Incentivized WitnessJ
Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies● Non-public details in admissions allegedly overheard by two jailhouse informants
Quotes from testimony #3

Prosecutor argued, “What rings true about what [the informants] didn’t get any deal or compensation from testifying? The words they claimed he used. Remember, they didn’t know whether it was Jeremy’s wife that got killed, what did they tell you this defendant said. I killed my brother’s old lady… neither one of them knew anything about the facts of this defendant’s case…”

Quotes regarding any deal or leniency with informant, or prior use of informant

Prosecutor asserted “they didn’t get any deal or compensation from testifying”

Highest level reachedNR

Read more about this exoneration

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