NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Two men convicted decades ago of serious crimes in Norfolk have received pardons thanks to the University of Virginia School of Law’s Innocence Project.
According to two law school news releases, the cases were unrelated but both carried hefty sentences.
On July 14, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam met via video call with Bobbie Morman Jr. to announce the news of his pardon.
Morman served more than 22 years of a 48-year sentence for an Aug. 4, 1993, drive-by shooting in Norfolk. He was convicted of three counts of attempted malicious wounding, as well as firearms charges.
No one was injured in the shooting, and the men in the car involved said Morman wasn’t with them at the time, the release said.
However, he was convicted by a jury of three counts of attempted malicious wounding, as well as firearms charges after eyewitness testimony. Another man, Glen Payne, was not interviewed by police but testified at trial saying he had committed the crime, according to a law school news release.
After multiple denied appeals, the Innocence Project took Morman’s case in 2015.
In July, however, the Innocence Project prevailed. The Innocence Project, Morman and his family met with Northam via video call to announce the news of Morman’s absolute pardon, according to the release. Morman’s rights have now been completely restored.
This month, UVA School of Law says a second man convicted of a serious crime in Norfolk was pardoned due to work from the Innocence Project, according to a second law school news release.
On Aug. 10, Northam granted an absolute pardon to Joey Carter, who served 25 years on charges of first-degree murder, attempted robbery, robbery and statutory burglary. He was given two life sentences plus 30 years.
Carter was released on parole in 2016, ahead of his pardon from the governor.
He was convicted in the 1989 stabbing death of Juan Nunez-Reyes. A neighbor gave eyewitness testimony and said they saw two men leaving the scene of the murder with a briefcase.
The Innocence Project said the detective, Robert Glenn Ford, elicited false witness testimony that “wrongfully implicated” Carter.
Ford was sentenced in 2011 to more than 12 years in prison for taking bribes related to police cases, the release said. He had recently been released from prison.
In Northam’s order for the absolute pardon, the governor noted that Carter was “an unfortunate victim of Norfolk Detective Glenn Ford, who used his official capacity to extort witnesses in order to yield high solvability percentages.”
The Innocence Project is also pursuing other cases related to investigations done by Ford.
The governor’s office tells 10 On Your Side that although the two men can never get the years they’ve lost behind bars, Gov. Northam is committed to “righting horrific wrong” and keeping other innocent people out of the criminal justice system.
10 On Your Side has also reached out to the Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office for comment and more information.
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