Skip to comments.For now, steak, and savoring life on the outside for freed Dewey (Exhonerated after 16 years)
Posted on 05/01/2012 4:56:59 PM PDT by GSWarrior
How do you start rebuilding a life after 16 lost years?
For starters, in the case of 51-year-old Robert Dwain Dewey, you eat well.
He said he wanted a filet mignon steak, first thing, Donna Weston, 71, Deweys mother, said after a press conference Monday morning at the Mesa County Sheriffs Department.
That cut-of-awesomeness meal will have to be restaurant variety, she said. Donna and her husband, Jim, packed up their RV Friday morning in Ridgecrest, Calif., for a 760-mile ride to Grand Junction, which was three days after getting the phone call of a lifetime. The one theyd prayed about for 16 years.
Its been very long, very hard, Donna Weston said. I just pray that the right person has been caught.
On the business of life out of prison, there were more questions than answers for Dewey on Monday.
Danyel Joffe, Deweys attorney and advocate since 2001, said Dewey was expected to get his first cellphone on Monday. Immediate plans were for Dewey to leave Grand Junction and stay with a friend out-of-state, assuming of course he could get on an airplane, she said.
He needs an ID will they accept a prison ID? We have no idea, Joffe said.
What could Dewey do on the outside? He formerly worked in construction, while Jim Weston said his son was skilled at working on engines, particularly motorcycles.
Engines have changed a lot, too, since hes been in, Weston said.
Among immediate pressing needs is possible back surgery, Joffe said. Dewey, prior to prison, had a steel rod placed in his back, and Dewey has complained of a screw tweaking nerves in his spine.
One of the first things will be getting him to a doctor, she said. Its been real severe over the last 15 months.
Jason Kreag, a staff attorney with the New York-based Innocence Project, an advocacy group that has worked with Joffe to free Dewey since 2009, said the organization has assigned a social worker to tend to Deweys needs. Donna Weston said she understood that person will be working with her son at least for the next year.
Shell help him with the smallest tasks, everything from deciding whether he wants job training, Kreag said.
Unlike some states, Colorado lawmakers havent established any mechanism by which assistance is offered for inmates exonerated of crimes, he said.
At least when released on parole or probation, (Department of Corrections) gives you something, Kreag said. Mr. Dewey wont have that.
At Mondays press conference, Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said, Were very regretful of the fact Dewey spent so much time in prison.
Hautzinger, who at one point was asked about the possibility of civil litigation by Dewey, said there has been nothing suggesting law enforcement misconduct, such as withholding exculpatory evidence from Deweys defense, during the original 1994 to 1996 investigation, which ended with Dewey sentenced to life in prison without parole.
This office prosecuted the best available suspect at the time with the best available evidence, Hautzinger said.
Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle, one of two prosecutors who tried Dewey, echoed similar observations.
If you could name an emotion, Ive had it, Tuttle said of recent efforts to exonerate Dewey, while embarking on a fresh murder probe.
Looking back, I wouldnt have done anything differently based on the information we had at the time, Tuttle said.
There, Joffe, who was a prosecutor in the 7th Judicial District in Montrose and Delta counties between 1984 and 1986, remains at odds with Mesa County.
The evidence against him was so weak, he shouldnt have been prosecuted, Joffe said.
Joffe declined comment on the original investigation by the Palisade Police Department, which was actually spearheaded by the Mesa County Sheriffs Department. Joffe also wasnt interested in questions of civil litigation against Mesa County, saying Deweys priority will be finding his free legs.
How do you decide what 18 years of your life are worth? she asked.
A similar fate awaiting George Zimmerman?
“This office prosecuted the best available suspect at the time with the best available evidence,”
nope, nothing wrong with that comment at all.
“Forget solid evidence, this guy is close enough”
Not much of a news report. What was he convicted of and what led to his exoneration?
My,what big hands you have, Ms. Joffe.
The one of the left is a man? Looks like a BIG woman. I need some sleep, I guess. My eyes are playing tricks on me.
OMG, that IS a woman. I need sleep. Night.
Not many things would suck quite as much as spending lots of years in prison and being innocent.
Your eyes are fine and so are mine.
I agree, sloppy article and indicative of the decline of true journalism. It’s not rocket science, we just need the “who, what, where, when, why and how.”
Those were answered in previous articles.
Story says nothing about what convicted him or what got him off the hook. I’m always skeptible about the innocence project as they seem to only represent people who are guilty as hell , but there was no video or such. Anything that involves Barry Shect is questionable. Folks in the vicinity of where he is released need to be on the watch for a repeater
That's a woman's name?
Okay, I give up. It is what it is.