Dan Rea With Darrell Jones In the WBZ Studios
by Nancy Shack, WBZ NewsRadio1030
BOSTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Darrell Jones spent 32 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. So said a Plymouth County jury last Tuesday.
Jones, a black man, was convicted of the first degree murder of Guillermo Rodriguez in 1986 by an all white jury and sentenced to life in prison. The prosecution relied on inconsistent eyewitness testimony that Jones was the man who shot Rodriguez outside a Brockton bar. They introduced no physical evidence and no evidence of a motive.
There was alibi evidence supporting Jones claim he was having dinner in another restaurant at the time of the shooting. Despite the guilty verdict, Jones refused to plead guilty in exchange for a shorter sentence claiming he was an innocent man. So he went to prison where he repeatedly appealed his conviction. Finally in 2017 a judge released him after finding his original trial was unjust — tainted by false police testimony, conflict of interest and an overtly racist jury.
Yet the ordeal was not over. Despite evidence of Jones's innocence and proof of police, attorney and jury misconduct in the original trial, the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office decided to retry the case. The jury was not impressed and gifted Jones with an acquittal earlier this week after only two hours of deliberation.
Darrell Jones will joined Dan to relay his ordeal.