|Year of Conviction||2004|
|Year of Exoneration||2010|
|Testing inculpated culprit||Cold Hit|
|State of Conviction||Indiana|
|Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty Plea||Trial|
|Type of Crime||Rape and Murder|
|Gender of Exoneree||Male|
|Race of exoneree||White|
|Type of Innocence Defense|
|Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense|
● A series of alibi witnesses included his minister, employer, and relatives.
|Did the defendant testify at trial?||Yes|
|Quotes from Exoneree Testimony|
Defendant described his whereabouts during the time period of the crime and denied confessing to jailhouse informant.
|Types of evidence at trial|
|Type of Forensic Evidence|
|Types of Flawed Forensics|
|Reason why invalid||(2) Failure to exclude based on selective degradation|
|Brief Quote / Description of Testimony|
The victim was an A secretor and Watkins an O secretor. Swabs from the victim exhibited A and B substances. Rather than excluding the defendant, the analyst speculated that bacteria might explain the inconsistent finding: “You are dealing with a dead body in which you have decomposition and sometimes bacteria will acquire a B Blood Group substance activity which could possibly be causing it.” See Part II.A.2. for a discussion of this case.
|Jailhouse informant, Co-defendant, Incentivized Witness||J|
|Examples of Non-Public or Corroborated Facts and Inconsistencies||● Non-public facts in jailhouse informant’s statement included identity of victim, how she was killed, where her body was found|
|Quotes from testimony #3|
Jailhouse informant testified, “I said, the girl that you got the time for, for the molestation charges, is the little girl is dead. He said, yes, she’s dead. He said – and he was still, you know, he was upset real bad, he was cryin’. He was holdin’ the bible in his hands.” “He said that he had killed her. He said that he’d cut her throat. That he’d left her in some bushes in Hancock County.” “Q. Did he get any more specific about how he’d cut her throat? A. He said that – that he’d cut her throat. That her jugular vein was cut and that he’d left her in some bushes in Hancock County.” He said that it was “his wife’s sister or his wife’s – sister’s little girl.”
|Quotes regarding any deal or leniency with informant, or prior use of informant|
“You haven’t promised me anything as far as my freedom or anything. You told me that you would help see to it that I was protected after all of this was over.” “Did the Officers ever promise to do anything for you that you know of? A. They didn’t promise to do anything. They said that after the trial was over .. that they would talk to the people in Indianapolis and if there was any consideration or anything – it would be done…” Prosecutor denied at trial that any deal or leniency provided.
|Highest level reached||FederalHabeas|
|Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction|
|Claims granted, resulting in preexon. reversal|
|Citations to judicial opinions|
Watkins v. State, 528 N.E.2d 456 (Ind. 1988.)