Bloodstained shoe helps overturn man’s 2011 conviction

Bloodstained shoe helps overturn man’s 2011 conviction


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nicholas McGuffin, who has been in penitentiary for virtually a decade for against the law he has continually maintained he didn’t commit, would possibly per chance per chance well quickly stroll free after his submit-conviction merely team stumbled on “exculpatory DNA proof that became as soon as below no circumstances disclosed to the jury.”

In June 2000, Leah Freeman disappeared whereas walking in Coquille, a runt metropolis south of Coos Bay. About a month later, the 15-three hundred and sixty five days-primitive’s body became as soon as stumbled on in the runt metropolis of Fairview. Bodily proof became as soon as restricted and there were no witnesses, so the case went chilly.

Leah Freeman, who became as soon as killed in 2000 on the age of 15, is considered in an undated photo (KOIN, file)

Ten years later police arrested McGuffin, who had been Leah’s boyfriend on the time of her disappearance. He became as soon as convicted of manslaughter in 2011.

According to McGuffin’s merely team, the Oregon Suppose Police Forensics Services Division “stumbled on DNA belonging to an unidentified male on the sufferer’s bloodstained shoe” old to the criminal trial started, but didn’t list the fetch to anybody open air the lab.

Learn the court docket ruling on the bottom of this text

McGuffin’s lawyers acknowledged despite the invention, a lab analyst “falsely testified that there became as soon as no DNA proof pointing to any other suspect.”

Police throughout a search advance Coos Bay for the body of Leah Freeman, circa July 2000 (KOIN, file)

McGuffin’s attorneys stumbled on out about the DNA proof and confronted the lab in 2017, arguing that if the DNA proof had been available at his usual trial, the jury have not got convicted McGuffin.

Malheur County Circuit Court Recount Patricia Sullivan agreed, overturning the conviction Friday. McGuffin’s lawyers acknowledged it’s “now now not known how many other defendants were wrongfully convicted in Oregon in instances by which OSP Lab analysts selected now to now not list exculpatory DNA results.”

‘DNA belonged to about a other guy’

Janis Puracal, an attorney and the Govt Director for the Forensic Justice Mission, instructed KOIN 6 Info McGuffin has maintained his innocence all along.

“He became as soon as acquitted on the homicide fee and then the jury came support with a 10-2 verdict on manslaughter,” Puracal acknowledged. “Oregon is one amongst the finest states in the nation that enables a non-unamious verdict and also you would possibly per chance be in a space to restful assemble convicted.”

When McGuffin became as soon as on trial in 2011, “there became as soon as the misimpressin that there became as soon as no DNA proof in the case,” Puracal acknowledged. “The reported from the explain lab urged that the finest DNA became as soon as that of the sufferer herself and a deputy who stumbled on her sneakers miles and miles from her body.”

Nicholas McGuffin in an undated court docket appearance linked to the death of Leah Freeman in 2000 (KOIN, file)

However Recount Patricia Sullivan “has identified in submit-conviction that there became as soon as if truth be told exculpatory DNA belonging to about a other guy, now now not Mr. McGuffin.”

Puracal acknowledged they argued the explain lab must have faith disclosed the exculpatory DNA proof. “That proof must were regarded as to present Mr. McGuffin is basically innocent.”

Late Friday, Recount Sullivan ruled the Oregon Suppose Lab must have faith disclosed the exculpatory DNA proof. “They violated Mr. McGuffin’s constitutional rights by now now not disclosing it.”

Having that DNA proof will have faith exclusively modified the case, she instructed KOIN 6 Info. The jury “will have faith primitive this DNA proof to fetch Mr. McGuffin innocent and acquit him.”

At the time of Freeman’s death, there became as soon as an inner coverage on the Oregon Suppose Lab that gave their analysts discretion to now now not list low stage DNA samples, she acknowledged. However “that must were reported whether or now now not it became as soon as low stage or now now not,” she acknowledged.

Leah Freeman in an undated photo. The body of the 15-three hundred and sixty five days-primitive became as soon as stumbled on advance Coos Bay on August 2, 2000 (KOIN, file)

The DNA has since been re-tested by the explain lab “and confirmed that there would possibly per chance be exculpatory male DNA on that shoe.”

And, she acknowledged, “they’re in a space to repeat it’s now now not Mr. McGuffin’s,” nor became as soon because it the law enforcement officer who picked up the shoe. There wasn’t sufficient to shuffle the DNA via the national data pass, but investigators would possibly per chance per chance well proceed to compare this DNA to any other suspect to see if they assemble a match.”

What happens next

Kristina Edmundson, the Communications Director for Oregon Lawyer Fashioned Ellen Rosenblum, instructed KOIN 6 Info they have faith now now not made a decision whether or now to now not appeal Recount Sullivan’s ruling.

Nicholas McGuffin in his most recent Oregon Department of Corrections photo, considered December 2, 2019

If the explain chooses now to now not appeal, Purcal acknowledged the district attorney then has to mediate whether or now to now not brush off the charges and launch him or if he’ll re-try the case. If the explain does appeal, they have faith to realize so by the discontinuance of December.

Nick McGuffin is contented and relieved, she acknowledged. “He’s been combating for this for a terribly very prolonged time, so it’s huge must you assemble a court docket to acknowledge what the proof if truth be told presentations, and that’s became as soon as indispensable and a jury must have faith considered it,” Purcal acknowledged.

He’s been on the help of bars for 9 years. “He wants to head home. He’s got a younger daughter and he wants to be with his household.”

Leah Freeman and Nicholas McGuffin’s chase photo from Might moreover 2000 (file/courtesy)

So, who killed Leah Freeman? That is restful a mystery.

“We have not any belief. I need that we knew the answer to that,” Purcal acknowledged. “High quality now we know there’s DNA proof there but we don’t know who it belongs to.”

They wish the investigation to proceed “and at some point if truth be told be in a space to repeat us what took place to Leah.”

Recount Patricia Sullivan’s ruling in Nicholas McGuffin case

DV.load(“”, { width: 640, height: 480, sidebar: coarse, container: “#DV-viewer-6564762-2019-11-29-PCR-Judgment” }); 2019 11 29 PCR Judgment (PDF)

2019 11 29 PCR Judgment (Text)

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Bloodstained shoe helps overturn man’s 2011 conviction

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