Attorney General's Office Appeals Ruling That Would Vacate Sentence Of Tommy Ward


Monday, December 21st 2020, 3:10 pm
By: Amelia Mugavero, News On 6


HOMINY, Okla. -

Tommy Ward, the man at the center of the 2018 Netflix series "The Innocent Man' faces more obstacles in his fight for freedom.

Friday night, a Pontotoc County Judge threw out his conviction for the murder of an Ada woman in the 1980s. However, on Monday, the state has filed an appeal and is keeping Tommy behind bars.

"I thought we were going to have him home for Christmas," Tommy's brother Melvin Ward. 

Tommy Ward has been behind bars for 35 years at the Dick Conner Concretional Center. Melvin said he thought his brother would walk free Monday, only to find out their fight is not over. 

"Doesn't seem right, he's been in there for 35 years for something he didn't do," Ward said. "We thought he was going to get out one day, and the door just slams back in your face."

A Pontotoc County District judge dismissed his murder conviction Friday, because of several issues with his case. She said the prosecution did not reveal several pieces of evidence, including a reward offered to witnesses, issues with witnesses changing their stories, and inconsistencies in Ward's confession such as Ward'd confession to stabbing Haraway, when there was only evidence of a gunshot to her head after investigators found what appeared to be Haraway's skeletal remains.

The judge went on to say, "This creates reasonable probability the outcome of the trial would have been different given the burden of proof required for conviction."

Then on Monday, the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office stated, "we are going to appeal and let our filing speak for itself. We are also seeking a stay of his release."

Tommy's Attorney Mark Barrett said he's hopeful Tommy will be a free man. 

"We are not certain exactly of when that might happen, but we are working on that aspect of the judge has ordered his released and declared all his convictions and sentences to be unconstitutional, which is something we believed for a number of years."

The State has ordered Tommy to stay in prison until January 8 and the judge's order is being put on hold.

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