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Tennessee woman wrongfully convicted in 4-year-old's murder exonerated more than 30 years later

Added 01-15-22 05:13:02pm EST - “A 74-year-old Tennessee woman convicted for the murder of her great-niece has been exonerated after spending nearly 30 years behind bars.” - Nydailynews.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Nydailynews.com: “Tennessee woman wrongfully convicted in 4-year-old’s murder exonerated more than 30 years later”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

A 74-year-old Tennessee woman convicted for the murder of her great-niece has been exonerated after spending nearly 30 years behind bars.

Joyce Watkins, and her boyfriend at the time, Charlie Dunn, picked up 4-year-old Brandi from a home in Kentucky on June 26, 1987, according to a report filed with the Davidson County Criminal Court. The following morning, the girl was unresponsive and Watkins rushed her to Nashville Memorial Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

The medical examiner, Dr. Gretel Harlan, determined Brandi suffered from severe vaginal and head injures, all sustained within the window of time she’d spent with Watkins and Dunn. In August 1988, they were each convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated rape.

The couple spent 27 years in prison before they were granted parole in 2015. Dunn however, died behind bars, just before his release.

With some help from the Tennessee Innocence Project and the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office, Watkins was eventually able to clear both their names. In court documents requesting that their convictions be vacated, Watkins clarified that she saw blood in Brandi’s underwear shortly after she picked the girl up.

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