UPDATE JUNE 30: A 42-year-old Nevada man freed from prison after 23 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit says he's a little overwhelmed by the changes he sees in the city where he was arrested when he was 19.
DeMarlo Berry said the first thing he noticed when he was released from shackles Friday in downtown Las Vegas was the new buildings, homes and freeways. He says everything's different, and it's a surreal feeling.
Berry was serving life in prison without parole when he was exonerated this week in the April 1994 shooting death of a fast-food restaurant manager.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A man convicted of murder in the 1990s will be released from a Nevada prison after a review from the Clark County District Attorney's Office looked into a confession from another inmate.
The DA's Office reported Thursday that the newly created Conviction Review Unit has completed its review and investigation of the 1995 conviction of DeMarlo Berry, who is now 42 years old and housed at Southern Desert Correction Center northwest of Las Vegas.
Berry was convicted of the 1994 murder of Charles Burkes. At that time, he claimed that another person, Steven Jackson, committed the crime.
In 2013, while in prison for a 1996 murder conviction, Jackson provided a written affidavit taking responsibility for Burkes’ death.
In 2016, members of the Conviction Review Unit conducted an independent and comprehensive investigation of this case. This included an interview of Jackson, at which time he confirmed what was in his affidavit and provided additional information about the crime scene that would not have been known by someone who was not there at the time of the murder.
The investigation also determined there had been no contact between Berry and Jackson since Berry’s conviction.
This is the first case reviewed by the Conviction Review Unit that has resulted in a person’s release from prison.
“My goal in creating the CRU was to provide a way for certain cases to be reviewed independently and evaluated on a variety of factors, including new evidence,” said DA Steve Wolfson in a statement. “In this case, a confession by Mr. Jackson, and verification of that and other information by our CRU, resulted in our decision to no longer oppose Mr. Berry’s request for conviction relief. The end result is Mr. Berry will be released from prison after over two decades behind bars.”