On June 26, 1987, Joyce Watkins, now 74, and her boyfriend on the time, Charlie Dunn, went to select up Watkins four-year-old great-niece, Brandi, in Kentucky, in keeping with a report filed with the Davidson County Criminal Court.
The subsequent morning Brandi was unresponsive, so Watkins took her to Nashville Memorial Hospital.
A 12 months later, in August 1988, Watkins and Dunn have been convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated rape.
Before his launch, Dunn, sadly, handed away in jail.
Prior to Brandi being picked up by the couple, she was residing on the dwelling of Rose Williams, Brandi’s great-aunt. Brandi’s mom was in Georgia on the time.
Throughout that interval, a Kentucky Department of Social Services employee visited the house after receiving a report Brandi had been abused.
Williams defined Brandi’s accidents Brandi have been as a result of a playground mishap, and the investigation was closed.
Clearing her identify
Now 35 years later, Watkins has been exonerated after she made it a level to clear her identify.
“We got this case because she (Joyce) came to us,” Jason Gichner, senior authorized counsel with the Tennessee Innocence Project instructed NCS. “She just showed up at the office and said, ‘Let me tell you my story. I need your help.’ “
The submitting clarified Watkins seen blood in Brandi’s underwear after they arrived dwelling, solely an hour and a half after the couple picked her up, with a minimum of an hour of that point spent driving again to Nashville.
A report from Dr. Shipla Reddy was additionally included in the submitting, who mentioned Dr. Harlan’s “methodology for dating the head injury based upon a lack of histiocytic response in the brain tissue is not a legitimate method for dating pediatric head trauma.”
The ruling famous Harlan conceded the error in her methodology years after the trial.
“Joyce Watkins and Charlie Dunn are innocent,” District Attorney Glenn Funk instructed NCS, “We cannot give Ms. Watkins or Mr. Dunn their lost years but we can restore their dignity; we can restore their names. Their innocence demands it.”
“Miss Watkins, this charge against you is dismissed,” Davidson County Criminal Court Judge, Angelita Blackshear Dalton, mentioned Wednesday morning, in keeping with WTVF.