DNA Clears Man After 28 Years

Man convicted in 1981 Rock Creek Park rape, slaying

By SARAH KARUSH
|  Tuesday, Dec 15, 2009  |  Updated 12:15 PM EDT
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DNA Clears Man After 28 Years

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DNA evidence helps exonerate a man convicted of a 1981 Rock Creek Park killing.

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A judge in D.C. ordered a man who spent 28 years in prison for a rape and murder to be released immediately, after DNA testing showed he is innocent.

Donald Eugene Gates, 58, is expected to be released Tuesday from a prison in Arizona, prosecutors said. He will be given a bus ticket to Ohio, where he's originally from, winter clothes and $75.

Judge Fred Ugast, who presided over Gates' trial, said he's grateful that technology had made it possible to "right a wrong."

Gates was convicted of the 1981 rape and murder of 21-year-old Catherine Schilling in Rock Creek Park.

Recent testing showed that Gates is not a match for the DNA found on Schilling's body and the work of an FBI forensic analyst involved in the investigation has been called into question.
 

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