US

Man Serving Life for Murder Freed on Deal Over New Evidence

By The Associated Press

PELHAM, Tenn.—A Tennessee man serving life in prison for murder has been freed after 12 years over a fingerprint pointing to another man.

News outlets report 36-year-old Adam Braseel accepted a deal last month allowing him to maintain his innocence and get time served for felony aggravated assault. He now says he wants a pardon.

No one witnessed the 2006 bludgeoning of Malcolm Burrows. But his sister told authorities a red-headed man lured her brother away and returned to beat her so severely she suffered brain damage. No traces of the red-headed Braseel were found at the scene.

In 2017, a retested fingerprint matched a red-headed man named Kermit Eugene Bryson, who killed himself in 2008 as authorities tried arresting him for killing an officer. The plea ended the subsequent retrial.

After serving nearly 28 years in prison, a Philadelphia man was freed after authorities publicly acknowledged that police and prosecutors had evidence that pointed to other suspects.

Philadelphia Man Freed After Serving 27 Years In Prison

In a similar story, Chester Hollman III, 48, was released on July 15 from a state prison in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Gwendolyn N. Bright had ruled that Hollman was “likely innocent” of the 1991 killing of Tae Jung Ho.

“I don’t think it’s really hit me yet still. Just this morning, I learned that this was happening. I’m still a little in shock, disbelief,” Hollman told KYW.

“Knowing that you’re in prison for something that you didn’t do and trying to convince people that you’re not lying, your innocence is true, it’s real, it’s an uphill battle,” he said.

Hollman was convicted of robbery and murder in Ho’s death in 1993 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The victim, Ho, and a friend—both foreign exchange students—were walking home when two men tried to rob them. They pushed Ho to the ground and later shot him to death before fleeing in the back of a white Chevy Blazer SUV, court filings state.

Hollman was pulled over about four minutes later after the first 911 call reporting Ho’s killing was made. He was driving a rented white Chevy Blazer SUV with a license plate number that had the same first three letters as the suspects’ vehicle, the documents said.

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office recently said prosecutors and police had credible evidence linking at least three other people, including a person who was driving the suspects’ SUV, to the crime for years.

They noted that an anonymous caller told police the name of the driver less than 24 hours after the crime, but that tip was never shared with defense attorneys, prosecutors said in a recent court filing.

Hollman’s attorney, Alan Tauber, said it was “a day for rejoicing” because his client was “finally free” after being convicted of crimes that he did not commit.

Chester Hollman III
Chester Hollman III. (Courtesy of Alan Tauber via CNN)

The CNN Wire contributed to this report.