Prisoner to be freed after 23 years: new DNA evidence show's he's probably innocent

9:31 PM, Jan 13, 2006   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- A man who has already served 23 years of a 130 year sentence for rape and robbery will be freed from prison soon because DNA evidence shows he probably didn't commit the crime.

A hearing for the release of Allen Crotzer is scheduled for January 23rd, the state attorney's office announced Friday.

"At the request of Mr. Crotzer's defense team, the State Attorney's Office agreed to submit evidence for DNA analysis in order to determine whether that evidence would demonstrate Mr. Crotzer's innocence," State Attorney Mark Ober said in a written statement.

"After carefully weighing all available evidence, the State Attorney;s Office concluded that significant doubt exists as to Mr. Crotzer's guilt in this case," Ober said. "Therefore, we have asked for Mr. Croitzer's case to be set on the court docket immediately in order to request the court to vacate the judgment and sentence against Mr. Crotzer."

Crotzer was convicted in April 22, 1982 for Burglary, Robbery, Flase Imprisonment and Sexual Battery. His attorney's claimed the victim mistakenly identified Crotzer as one of the men who attacked her.

The New DNA evidence, not available at trial, excluded him as the rapist.

Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office

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