Louisiana man to be freed after 1971 conviction tossed

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A Louisiana man who has spent nearly 50 years in prison will be freed after a judge overturned his conviction in the kidnapping and rape of a nurse.

State District Court Judge Richard Anderson set Wilbert Jones’ bail at $2,000 after hearing arguments from defense attorneys and prosecutors in a Baton Rouge courtroom. One of his lawyers expects him to be released Wednesday.

Anderson threw out Jones’ conviction on Oct. 31, saying authorities withheld evidence that could have exonerated Jones decades ago.

Jones, now 65, was 19 when police arrested him on suspicion of raping the nurse in 1971. Anderson said authorities concealed “highly favorable” evidence that the crime was committed by another man linked to two similar attacks.

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