Richmond Times-Dispatch

Hopkins pardoned in wrongful murder conviction
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Thursday, August 11, 2005

Troy D. Hopkins, who served 10 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, has been pardoned by Gov. Mark R. Warner.

"I am convinced that Mr. Hopkins is innocent of the charges for which he was convicted," Warner wrote last week when he granted Hopkins' petition for executive clemency.

The governor added that he believes if the Richmond Circuit Court jury that convicted Hopkins had evidence that came to light after his trial, the jury would not have found him guilty.

Hopkins said through his lawyer, Henry L. Marsh III, "I am grateful to my attorneys for their outstanding effort on my behalf, to Governor Warner for doing the right thing and to my family for their love and support through this ordeal."

Marsh said Hopkins, "who is married and currently gainfully employed, can finally sleep well at night, knowing that with his absolute pardon, he is one step closer to closing the door on the manifest injustice he suffered in 1990."

Hopkins, now nearly 40, was convicted in December 1991 of murder in the July 1990 slaying of Curtis Kearney, 37. Hopkins also was convicted of attempted robbery and two firearms charges and sentenced to 28 years in prison.

After he was tried, several witnesses said Hopkins had not killed Kearney, and in 1992, another man confessed to the slaying.

In 1994, an appeals court threw out Hopkins' conviction and ordered a new trial. However, that ruling was subsequently reversed, and Hopkins remained in prison until he was paroled in 2001.

Hopkins' plea for a new trial had been supported by former Commonwealth's Attorney Joseph D. Morrissey.

In 2003, Commonwealth's Attorney David M. Hicks said in an affidavit that a "wealth of exculpatory evidence" showed Hopkins was innocent of Kearney's slaying.

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