On Monday, a judge dropped all charges against Dennis Perry that had been apprehended back in 2000 for murdering Harold and Thelma Swain, News4Jax disclosed. The couple had been discovered dead after a fatal shooting inside a traditionally Black church in Waverly city in 1985.
Dennis Perry had been found guilty of the charges in 2003, however, recent DNA evidence found in 2020 triggered a request for a new trial. In July of 2020, a court judge approved the request, then on Monday came to the conclusion that it wasn’t necessary for Perry to face a retrial on the charges.
“It took a long time, but I never gave up,” Perry stated.
Dennis Perry continued and said, “I knew that eventually, someone else would see the truth, and I’m so grateful to the Georgia Innocence Project and King & Spalding for bringing the truth to light. This indictment has been hanging over my head for over 20 years, and it’s such a relief to finally not have to worry about being accused of this awful thing.”
The Innocence Project has been working on some prominent releases in recent times. The not-for-profit legal group is committed to “exonerating individuals who it claims have been wrongly convicted, through the use of DNA testing and working to reform the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice,” its website wrote.
District Attorney Keith Higgins pointed out in a statement after the court ruling that while the case had been put on trial to the most ideal of his administration’s capability back then, DNA evidence connected to the case revealed that Dennis Perry had been wrongfully convicted.
“The new evidence indicates that someone else murdered Harold and Thelma Swain,” Higgins pointed out. “Mr. Perry is now and has been since July 2020, a free man. We will continue to examine all the evidence in the case — new and old — as we determine what the next step will be in this investigation.”
Higgins mentioned that “There are times when seeking justice means righting a wrong.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) reopened an investigation into the Swains’ fatalities in 2020, yet there haven’t been any extra updates in the case ever since.
Kyle James Lee – The AEGIS Alliance – This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.