3 men convicted in death of WVa woman cleared on new DNA


Copyright: The Associated Press

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — Three men who were convicted of killing a woman in West Virginia 19 years ago have been cleared of charges in the case after new DNA evidence was presented.

The Herald-Dispatch reports Special Prosecutor Thomas Plymale dismissed all charges Tuesday against brothers Philip and Nathaniel Barnett and Justin Black.

Twenty-one-year-old Deanna Crawford was found beaten and strangled in 2002 in Cabell County, but her death went unsolved.

Eventually, Brian Dement gave police conflicting statements implicating himself and the other three men.

He later recanted. DNA testing indicated another man was at the scene, but the man denied being there.

Crawford’s mother has said she still believes all four men are guilty.

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