DNA frees inmate after 19 years in jail


Wednesday, November 10, 2004 Posted: 10:16 AM EST (1516 GMT)

Bruce Dallas Goodman poses in this May 11, 2001, prison photo in Draper, Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- A man who has spent 19 years behind bars for rape and murder was cleared by new DNA testing and will be released from prison, his lawyer said Tuesday.

Bruce Dallas Goodman, 54, will likely be freed sometime Tuesday afternoon, said Josh Bowland, the staff attorney at the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center who handled Goodman's DNA testing request. He said his client was ecstatic.

"I'm extremely excited. I can't wait to see Bruce," Bowland said.

Goodman was convicted in the 1984 death of his girlfriend, 21-year-old Sherry Ann Fales Williams. Williams was raped, sodomized, beaten to death and left bound just off an interstate exit.

DNA testing done by Bowland's group last month concluded samples taken from Williams and the crime scene did not match Goodman's DNA.

A judge vacated Goodman's conviction Wednesday, and prosecutor Von Christiansen told Bowland Monday that he has no plans to retry Goodman.

During his 1986 trial, Goodman and two defense witnesses testified they were together in Stockton, California, the night Williams was found.