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DNA Evidence Frees Men After 2 Decades In Prison

Two men are now free after spending more than two decades behind bars for a triple homicide in 1992.
Posted at 2:17 PM, Feb 08, 2014

After spending more than two decades behind bars for a triple murder, two men from New York are now free — and it's all thanks to new DNA evidence.

​"Sharrif Wilson and Antonio Yarbough were charged and convicted in the triple homicide of Yarbough's mother and two 12-year-old girls. One of the victims was Yarbough's sister. New DNA evidence cleared the men."

The two New York natives recalled the night of the 1992 murders to CNN. Yarbough, 18 at the time, and Wilson, 15, went home after a night of partying. Yarbough found his mother, sister and family friend stabbed and strangled to death.

Yarbough told CNN about his encounter with police. "Before you know it, I had this photograph shoved in my face, and I was being threatened and slapped around, and they wanted me to sign a false confession. And I wouldn't."

But Yarbough's friend Wilson signed a false confession after he says police coerced him into it. And that led to their men's eventual conviction and 21 years behind bars.

​But the New York Daily News reports new DNA evidence surfaced in September 2013. A specimen found on a murder victim in 1999, when both men were already behind bars, matched material found under Yarbough's mother's fingernails. The new evidence suggested his mother's killer is still out there. 

Wilson and Yarbough's convictions were overturned and the two were released February 6th. 

"Family members overcome with emotion as officers unshackled both men and they walked out free.' I don't even know how to describe it, I'm just overwhelmed right now.''This case is a perfect storm of everything that can go bad.'"

Upon being released, Wilson told reporters he's trying to decide between an iPhone and a Samsung Galaxy. Yarbough, on the other hand, says he's just looking forward to living his life. As for who committed the murders in 1992 and 1999, police have not identified a suspect.