Convicted Teen Freed After Independent Weekly Investigation

As a result of an Independent Weekly investigation, a Durham County Superior Court Judge dismissed all charges today against Erick Daniels, who was falsely convicted of robbery in 2001, when he was 15.

Daniels was sentenced to 10 to 14 years in prison, and has served seven years. He is due to be released from prison this afternoon.

Mosi Secret’s story, “Stolen Youth,” which ran in May 2007, detailed abundant evidence to to support Daniels’ claims of innocence, and revealed the contradictions and problems in the case to constitute reasonable doubt.

Earlier this summer, a judge ordered Durham County prosecutors to turn over evidence that could clear Daniels’ name. A hearing was held Sept. 18 at which the judge was expected to order a new trial for Daniels. Instead, the judge set him free.

The May 2007 story won the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism and first place in investigative journalism by the N.C. Press Association.