Wally Zimmer

Wally Zimmer spent 12 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

On April 1, 2011, Wally walked out of a courtroom in Cuyahoga County in Cleveland after serving 2 years for a murder that DNA evidence proved he did not commit. 

Wally and his co-defendant, Thomas Siller, were convicted in 1999 of murdering an elderly woman in her home. The conviction was based primarily on the testimony of a person who originally was indicted as the sole perpetrator of the crime. But that person convinced the police that he did not commit the crime, and that he instead had witnessed Wally and Thomas do it. Although Wally and Thomas always maintained their innocence, and claimed the snitch committed the murder, they were convicted. 

DNA testing sought by OIP established not only that Wally was innocent of the crime, but that DNA from the crime scene matched the informant’s DNA. Prosecutors then offered to release Wally immediately if he would plead guilty to a theft charge in exchange for having the murder charges dropped. Wally agreed.

You can learn more about this complicated case at the National Registry of Exonerations.

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