Tags: michael hanline | freed | murder | conviction | overturned

Michael Hanline Freed After 1980 Murder Conviction Overturned

Image: Michael Hanline Freed After 1980 Murder Conviction Overturned
Michael Hanline. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 03:34 PM

Michael Hanline, who was convicted of murder in 1980, was released on bail Monday after prosecutors said they are no longer sure he is guilty.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Donald Coleman ordered that Hanline, 69, be electronically monitored while prosecutors decide whether to seek a retrial, The Associated Press reported. Hanline was convicted of killing J.T. McGarry of Ventura, California.

A hearing is set for Feb. 27.

Lawyers from the California Innocence Project convinced prosecutors to re-examine evidence, and they found that DNA at the crime seen didn’t match Hanline or his alleged accomplice, the AP said.

Documents that showed others may have been responsible for the killing were withheld during Hanline’s trial, according to a news release from the California Innocence Project.

“I always hoped this day would come, but I can’t believe that it’s happening today,” Hanline said, according to the statement. “I’m very happy to be standing here with my wife Sandee who has stood by me all the years.”

A key witness in the case, Hanline’s then-girlfriend Mary Bischoff, was found to be under the influence of drugs during her testimony, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Prosecutors said in court filings that interviews during recent months suggest that others had motives and the means to kill McGarry and that witnesses had been threatened and discouraged from cooperating with prosecutors, the Times said.

McGarry was found shot to death in 1978.

The district attorney’s office will continue to investigate the case.

“We expect that at the conclusion of that investigation the proper person or persons will be charged with this crime. The DNA of another individual was found on a piece of evidence, and I’ll simply leave it at that,” Ventura County Deputy District Attorney Michael Lief said, according to CBS Los Angeles.

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Michael Hanline, who was convicted of murder in 1980, was released on bail Monday after prosecutors said they are no longer sure he is guilty.
michael hanline, freed, murder, conviction, overturned
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2014-34-25
Tuesday, 25 Nov 2014 03:34 PM
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