Exonerated: June 14, 2021
Incarcerated 13 years, 7 months, 21 days
Kaliegh Smith was convicted based on the false testimony from the State’s “essential” eyewitness in the case who claimed that she saw Mr. Smith shoot Jason Anderson. Unbeknownst to Mr. Smith and his lawyers, she was receiving thousands of dollars in housing assistance from the prosecutors’ office, and was promised further assistance if she testified at trial. The prosecutors hid this information from Mr. Smith’s lawyers in violation of the law and he was convicted by a non-unanimous jury.
Through investigation, IPNO learned of the secret financial benefits the eyewitness received and documented that on at least half-a-dozen other occasions, including in a sworn affidavit, she had stated that Mr. Smith was not the shooter.
IPNO also learned through investigation that three witnesses independently implicated another person in the murder to law enforcement, but prosecutors also hid this critical information from Mr. Smith. The person named by credible sources matched the description of the perpetrator far better than Mr. Smith, had been implicated in at least two other shootings in the area, and was known to police as a hitman.
Additionally, through post-trial forensic testing, Mr. Smith was excluded as the source of DNA left on the victim’s shirt where the perpetrator grabbed the victim prior to killing him. The perpetrator left his DNA on the t-shirt and the DNA does not match Mr. Smith.