LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former gang member's long-awaited exoneration has been delayed and he'll likely have to spend a few more days in jail after the judge who was expected to free him Friday became ill.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys were notified that a hearing for 38-year-old John Edward Smith has been delayed until Monday afternoon.
Prosecutors were ready to seek dismissal of charges against Smith, who was convicted of murder and attempted murder in a drive-by shooting in a gang infested neighborhood of Los Angeles 19 years ago.
Smith was 18 when he went to prison. According to his lawyers, he was the victim of false testimony by the only eyewitness to the shooting.
The Torrance, Calif., public interest law firm Innocence Matters pursued Smith's exoneration, and the witness admitted he lied.