Man Wrongly Imprisoned Dies

September 19, 2001

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (AP) - A man freed from prison this year after serving nearly 20 years for a murder he didn't commit died Wednesday from injuries he suffered in a fall. 

Kenneth Waters, 47, fractured his skull Sept. 6 when he fell from a 15-foot wall while taking a shortcut to his brother's house after a dinner with his mother. 

His sister, Betty Ann Waters, a high school dropout, had put herself through law school so she could help free her brother, and finally found evidence that freed him earlier this year. She had remained by her brother's side at Rhode Island Hospital since he was found bleeding and unconscious 

Waters was convicted of murder and armed robbery and sentenced to life in prison in 1983 in the slaying of Katharina Brow of Ayer, Mass.

His sister worked on the case for years and eventually learned that a box of evidence with her brother's name on it was sitting in a courthouse basement.The box contained the knife used in the slaying and pieces of cloth with blood samples on them. 

Waters was released in March after DNA tests of the evidence cast doubt on his conviction. Prosecutors later decided not to pursue a new trial. 

Waters said he was battling anxiety attacks after his prison ordeal, but the pain didn't diminish his joy at being home. 

``I feel blessed,'' Waters had said. ``I was one of the lucky ones.'' 

His sister agreed that he was adjusting to life on the outside fairly well, noting that he particularly liked his new cell phone. 

``Kenny's had a lot of tragedy in his life,'' she said earlier this month. ``He was very happy to be free.'' 

The two siblings have seven brothers and sisters and many nieces and nephews who also spent time with Waters in the hospital. 




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