Thursday, September 17, 2015

All charges dropped against man, 63, who served 34 years in jail for the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in 1976

All charges have been dropped against an Indiana County man who served 34 years in jail for the killing of a 15-year-old girl in 1976.

Lewis Fogle, 63, was released from SCI Pine Grove in Pennsylvania on bond after a judge vacated his murder conviction based on new DNA evidence last month.

Senior Judge David Grine freed Fogle from prison on $25,000 unsecured bond in August but granted the prosecutor's request to be given a month to determine if there was enough evidence to retry Fogle on a second-degree murder charge.

Today, Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty agreed to dismiss all charges against Fogle in the rape and murder of Deann Katherine Long in 1976.

The judge's decision stemmed from a joint motion by the New York-based Innocence Project and Dougherty.

Fogle was arrested alongside three other men in 1981 after Long, of Cherry Tree, Indiana County, was raped and shot in the head in July 1976.

He was the only one to stand trial and was 30 years old with a pregnant wife and an infant son when he was convicted a year later.

The teenager's body was found in a rural area a short distance from her home a day after she was last seen.

The newly discovered DNA findings that freed Fogle found that he was not the source of semen found on the young girl’s body.

Now, Fogle says he hopes anyone who was involved will be brought to justice.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Fogle said he was pleased that his ordeal was over and that he has spoken to Long's family since being freed.

'I told them I wished it had never happened in the first place,' he said.

'They know I'm innocent, they even told me so. I told them I would help bring the truth out. I'm not going to rest until that happens.'

Original report here

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