Maryland man freed by DNA

Baltimore, Maryland (WBAL) –  A man convicted of murder in 2005 has been exonerated by DNA evidence, officials said Tuesday.

Lamar Johnson was convicted of first-degree murder in 2005 in the killing of Carlos Sawyer on March 26, 2004. Johnson, who pleaded not guilty at that time, was later sentenced in 2006.

In the years since, he has filed multiple appeals and the case was eventually closed in 2008, according to court records.

A petition for post-conviction DNA testing was filed in December 2016. A hearing for a Writ of Actual Innocence took place Tuesday, when a judge issued a ruling that set aside the 2005 first-degree murder and gun verdicts.

“First, I want to thank God for blessing me with my freedom. I want to thank my mom for always having my back and believing in my innocence,” Johnson said.

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