Report: Northam grants ‘absolute pardon’ for man convicted in 2002 killing

Virginia News

FILE -This Monday March 15, 2021 file photo shows Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in Richmond, Va., Monday, March 15, 2021. The political crisis engulfing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has triggered a flurry of comparisons to Northam. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) — Gov. Ralph Northam has granted a full pardon to a man sentenced to life in prison in the 2002 killing of a pregnant woman and the shooting of her boyfriend.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Northam granted the “absolute pardon” Tuesday to Lamar Edward Barnes in the slaying of Amy McRae and the shooting of Mark King in Portsmouth. Northam’s office said the pardon reflects Barnes’ innocence of the convictions.

An investigation found that Barnes had a “corroborated alibi” at the time of the killing, but that evidence was not introduced by Barnes’ lawyer during his trial.

The governor’s office also said eyewitnesses who testified against Barnes, including King, later recanted their identifications of him.

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