NEW evidence has emerged, implicating a man who was previously tried twice and exonerated in the murder of a horse groomer.
Robert Earl Hayes, 58, was tried for the February 1990 rape and murder of Pamela Albertson first in 1995 and then again in 1997.
Albertson, 32, was a horse groomer at the Pompano Beach race track in Florida.
She and Hayes had worked together at the track and he was reportedly seen with her prior to the killing.
Hayes was also the one who supposedly found her body, NBC Miami reported, after police say she was strangled to death.
Prosecutors said Albertson had expressed her fear of Hayes to others before the killing. They also claimed that Hayes had a history of violence.
Hayes was found guilty and sentenced to death in 1991. He was, however, not executed.
The case was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court in 1995 after an appeals court found the original DNA testing to be unreliable.
In 1997, Hayes was found not guilty at a re-trial.
Now, new DNA tests conducted on sperm from Albertson's murder scene provided "very strong evidence" that it came from Hayes, according to Broward County State Attorney Harold Pryor.
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"Our Conviction Review Unit is dedicated to seeking the truth and reviewing plausible claims of innocence from people who have exhausted all of their rights to appeal and have nowhere left to turn. We go in with an open mind, no preconceptions, and follow the evidence wherever it goes," Pryor said in a statement.
"In this case, the new DNA evidence implicates Robert Earl Hayes in a 1990 homicide that jurors found him not guilty of committing.
"We believe it is just as relevant to speak the truth about what happened in this case and try to hold Mr Hayes accountable – to the extent possible – as it is to exonerate those who are innocent."
NOT A FREE MAN
Although he was not convicted in the Albertson case, Hayes is not a free man.
While Hayes cannot be re-tried for Albertson's murder due to the double jeopardy clause, this could affect his parole for the killing of Leslie Dickenson.
Dickenson, a horse groomer at Vernon Downs in Central New York, was murdered on August 14, 1987.
Her death was staged as a hanging and despite evidence of foul play, such as stab wounds and missing money, the coroner ruled it a suicide.
After the 1990 murder of Albertson, the Dickenson case was reinvestigated.
When put on trial in 2004 for the murder of Dickenson, 38, Hayes pleaded guilty to manslaughter, arson, and burglary.
Hayes will be up for parole in 2025.
TRYING TO PROVE INNOCENCE
The Innocence Project of New York has been trying to prove Hayes' innocence in the Dickenson case.
They requested assistance from Pryor's office, hoping to resurface old evidence, including hair, thinking it could help Hayes in the Dickenson case.
When new DNA testing was conducted on hairs found clutched in Albertson's hand, the tests showed that they likely belonged to her and not another suspect, according to Pryor.
The hairs originally had shown to come from an unidentified white person.
Since Hayes is Black, his attorney used this flaw to show that Hayes' link to Albertson's death was nonconclusive.
With this new evidence, Hayes' defense in the Albertson case falls apart.
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Pryor wrote a letter to the parole board in New York and asked for Hayes not to be released due to this new evidence.
“We will speak to the Parole Board in New York to try to ensure that Mr Hayes is not released from prison and we will do this in the interests of justice and to help safeguard all communities," Pryor said.
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