Man accused of double murder freed after 25 years in prison
WASHINGTON (AP) — A man accused of two murders was freed from prison after 25 years thanks to a piece of evidence not disclosed to his defense team decades ago.
Calvin Bright, 47, walked out of a jail in Washington on Wednesday night, news outlets reported. He was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Tammy Peay and William Ramsey in 1994.
Lawyers for Bright were unaware of a letter from DC police in which another man was named as a suspect in the murders.
“It would have changed everything about this case,” Bright’s attorney David Benowitz said. Benowitz began representing Bright about 12 years ago.
“As Mr. Bright’s original counsel testified, had he had that information, he would have changed how he investigated the case, how he litigated the case,” Benowitz said.
Bright has always maintained his innocence. Benowitz said Bright also recently passed a polygraph test in which he was asked whether he committed the murders.
“I believed this day was going to come,” Bright said after his release. “I never doubted it because I’m innocent.”
Bright is 15 credits away from earning an associate’s degree, Benowitz said. Bright said he plans to pursue a career in criminal justice and would like to open an investigation firm.
“So now I can do something about the next person that winds up in the predicament that I went into, I can do something about it,” Bright said.
Bright was released on time served and will be on probation for five years. He has also agreed not to sue to the District as a condition of his release, according to Benowitz.