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A Judge Overturned A Man’s Murder Conviction After It Turned Out That Key Witness Is Legally Blind


Darien Harris/ Illinois Department of Correction

A Chicago man who spent 12 years in jail on murder charges had his conviction overturned after it was confirmed that the only eyewitness who testified against him was legally blind, The Chicago Sun-Times reports. 

Darien Harris was convicted in connection with the 2011 death of Rondell Moore, who was fatally shot at a gas station in Chicago. Harris, who was 18 at the time and about to graduate from high school, received a 76-year prison sentence.

The crucial eyewitness testimony provided by Dexter Saffold was later found to be compromised, as he was legally blind during the time of the shooting. 

This information was reportedly known from a 2003 housing discrimination lawsuit with a doctor’s note attached in which Saffold was described as having “markedly reduced vision, especially at night.”

Despite the revelation of Saffold’s impaired vision, he stood by his statement that identified Harris as the perpetrator. Harris’s family consistently maintained his innocence, stating that he was at home watching NBA playoffs at the time of the shooting.

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office issued a statement indicating that the case was being vacated “due to shifts in witness testimony and available evidence.” However, prosecutors reportedly still believe Harris was the gunman and plan to retry him on the charges.

Harris’s attorney, Lauren Myerscough-Mueller, expressed disappointment that the state intends to retry him under these circumstances. Harris’s mother, Nakesha Harris, is concerned about the integrity of the case if it is retried. They hope the state will thoroughly review the evidence and reconsider proceeding with another trial.


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