FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge has signed an order that exonerates a man who spent 19 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murder.
The ruling Wednesday by state District Judge Louis Sturns in Fort Worth means 44-year-old John Earl Nolley now is declared innocent in the 1996 slaying of Sharon McLane. The ruling makes Nolley eligible for state compensation.
Sturns apologized to Nolley for the state’s actions.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Nolley’s conviction in May, leading to Wednesday’s ruling by Sturns.
Nolley was freed in 2016 after a witness admitted he lied and a bloody palm print at the crime scene was linked to another person.
The witness who lied was a jailhouse informant and the case contributed to changes in state law that placed more controls on testimony provided by informants