RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia’s highest court says a man convicted of rape and murder more than three decades ago is innocent and should be released from prison.
The Virginia Supreme Court granted Keith Allen Harward’s petition for a writ of actual innocence on Thursday after new DNA tests failed to identify Harward’s genetic profile in sperm left at the crime scene. Harward received a life sentence for the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife.
The order came a day after Attorney General Mark Herring said Harward was innocent of the crimes that have kept him behind bars since 1983.
Herring says in a statement that he is glad Harward will soon be reunited with his family.