Exonerated on June 19, 2001
Kenneth Waters spent eighteen years in prison for a murder he did not commit. His conviction of murder was vacated in 2001 with the help of his sister, Betty Anne Waters (pictured right).
On May 21, 1980, the victim was found dead in her bed at home. Waters was interviewed by police that day, but was not charged with the murder until two years later, based largely on the testimony of two ex-girlfriends. The perpetrator left no fingerprints, but hairs and blood were present at the crime scene and, using the technology available at the time, tests purportedly proved Kenneth Waters was the killer. He was convicted in 1983.
After Waters lost his appeals, his sister Betty Anne put herself through law school in order to take over her brother’s case. Aware that new technology made it possible to test biological evidence and use DNA to prove innocence, Betty Anne Waters hunted down the old crime scene blood samples in a courthouse basement. In 1999, she asked for her brother’s DNA to be tested for a match against the blood samples, and in 2001 the results came back, excluding Kenneth Waters as the possible perpetrator. His conviction was vacated and he was freed in March 2001. In 2010, a movie called ‘Conviction’ based on Kenny and Betty Anne’s life was released.