Convicting the Innocent
DNA Exonerations Database

Larry Holdren

First NameLarry
Last NameHoldren
Year of Conviction1984
Year of Exoneration2000
State of ConvictionWest Virginia
Trial, Bench Trial, or Guilty PleaTrial
Type of CrimeRape
Death SentenceNo
Gender of ExonereeMale
Race of exonereeWhite
Type of Innocence Defense
  • Alibi
Description / Quotes from Testimony Concerning Defense

● Missing testimony from defense case, but apparently family members testified he was at home at the time of the crime.

Did the defendant testify at trial?No
Types of evidence at trial
  • Eyewitness
  • Forensic Evidence
Type of Forensic Evidence
  • Serology
Types of Flawed Forensics
  • Valid (Non-probative)
Brief Quote / Description of Testimony

Testing for seminal fluid inconclusive or negative.

Identity of eyewitness
  • Intraracial Identificaiton
  • Victim
Multiple eyewitnesses2
Lineup Procedures
  • Photo array
Suggestive Procedures

Yes ● Suggestive lineup – 3 of 5 photos were wrong hair color, other photo was D’s twin but a wrinkled photo; defendant’s photo was repeated in two separate photo arrays

Quotes from testimony #1

The Judge commented – “This is not a very good photo array… I do think that this — that there is a suggestive aspect of the photo array.”

Unreliable Identification?

Yes ● Discrepancies in description –hair ● Initially uncertain (the second witness)

Quotes from testimony #2

Victim said attacker “had dirty blond hair” that was “longer than it is right now.” Officer testified that Holdren had hair that was “brown” or hair that “could be” black. Victim had described attacker as “cleancut” while Holdren had a beard and mustache. Second eyewitness was not certain andtestified “When I picked that photograph out, I believe I said that is similar to him or a good likeness or resembles him or however I said it”

Highest level reachedFederalHabeas
Claims Raised During All Appeals and Postconviction
  • Double Jeopardy
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
  • Jackson Claim
  • Jury Instructions
  • Prosecutorial Misconduct
  • State Law Evidence Claim
  • Suggestive Eyewitness Identification
  • Willfull Destruction of Material Evidence
Harmless Error Rulings
  • G
  • HE
  • OG
Citations to judicial opinions

Holdren v. Legursky, 16 F.3d 57 (4th Cir. 1994)
Holdren v. Trent, 513 U.S. 831 (1994)

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