We The People Oklahoma: Man Wrongfully Detained For Tulsa Armed Robbery
TULSA, Oklahoma - A man released from the Tulsa County jail just 24 hours ago could potentially be sent back.
Keaundrey Carter was arrested after two people identified him as the man who robbed them at gunpoint outside their apartment.
Wednesday, Carter told his said of the story. He said he’s innocent, that he was racially profiled and that he’s afraid he could go back to jail.
Carter was released from jail because a witness couldn't make it to the trial to testify. He said he’s happy to be home but lives in fear of being re-arrested.
Wednesday, Carter stood with members of We the People Oklahoma and his attorney, as a free man saying he's innocent.
"For people in jail for something they didn't do, I wanted to say there is hope for them,” he said.
Carter had been in the Tulsa County jail since September 2015 after a couple told police their phone was stolen by a black man in a white T-shirt.
Marq Lewis with We the People Oklahoma said, "We have seen this happen all over the country, where misidentification faulty eye-witnesses."
Police arrested Carter outside his mother's apartment while changing a tire - that's when the couple told police Carter "looked like" the suspect.
Carter said, “Knowing it's somewhere where my mama lay her head, right there, two steps away, it don’t make sense. And if I was the one who did it, why would I go change my tire if I was finna rob these people."
Carter's trial date was October 3rd.
The district attorney’s witness couldn't make it and the judge denied the DA's motion to reschedule it, so the DA dismissed the case without prejudice, which means, for at least a year, they'll have the option to re-file charges.
Attorney Oliver Arbogast said, "I don't think the state’s case has improved, if anything it's worse."
Carter, who was 19 when arrested, does not have a criminal record, his attorney said.
Since being arrested, Carter lost his apartment, car and job. His mother got evicted because the incident happened at her home.
He's hoping to move forward, even with the threat of more jail time.
"I hope it works out, but I'm still scared because I could possibly be taken back to jail," Carter said.
His attorney said officers never found any evidence on Carter and later found the couple's stolen phone feet from where the robbery happened.
The fingerprint analysis came back inconclusive.
The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office said prosecutors did everything they could to get the case to trial. It said Carter was arrested on probable cause and a preliminary hearing was held and a judge ruled there was enough evidence to hold him for trial.
Motions have been filed and court hearings have been held leading up to trial, the office said. Prosecutors were unable to get one of the victims to appear in court on the trial date because he's an over-the-road truck driver, the office said. The state filed a motion last week asking the judge to continue the case but the judge denied the motion so the state dismissed the case.
According the motion, the defense or the judge delayed the case four times. The motion says that in February Carter requested a jury trial and didn't object when the trial date was set for October 3, 2016, eight months later.