- A man identified as Damon Thibodeaux died of COVID-19 nine years after he was acquitted of murder charges
- Damon spent 16 years in prison before a team of lawyers proved his innocence; his brother said Damon was not bitter and prayed to forgive those who jailed him
- After he regained his freedom, Damon started over and took up a job as a long-distance truck driver.
A man who was acquitted of murder charges and released from prison has succumbed to COVID-19.
Damon Thibodeaux was wrongfully imprisoned for 16 years in 1997 before a team of lawyers proved his innocence.
Nine years upon his release from prison, he passed away after contracting the virus.
Speaking to the press, the retired lawyer who helped Damon regain his freedom expressed disbelief at his passing.
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Steve Kaplan told The Oregonian:
“It’s so unfair. I’m struggling to make peace with it, but you can’t.”
Damon passed away on September 2, aged 47, having spent a third of those years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
After his release from prison, Damon started over and took up a job as a long-distance truck driver.
According to his brother David, he held no grudges and had rebuilt his life.
The brother said:
"He had no grudges, and should have been angry at the world, but he wasn't angry at anyone. He prayed to forgive those that incarcerated him."
David said Damon fell sick while on the road and was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of the virus.
His health eventually started improving little by little, only for tragedy to strike.
David received a call from the hospital seeking permission to stop resuscitation of Damon as his lungs had collapsed and his heart failed.
"As hurt and painful as it is, it's really inspiring to see people touched by his story. He's at peace.
Conviction and release
Damon was arrested aged 22 after his 14-year-old step-cousin went missing when he was visiting her family.
When her body was found, he was interrogated for a long time, pushing him to confess to a crime he did not commit.
He was sentenced to death a year later, and after being on death row for 15 years, a team of lawyers proved his innocence.
Inconsistent witness statement and lack of DNA evidence saw his conviction thrown out, and he was freed in 2012.
Nigeria's security guru dies of COVID-19
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Legit.ng previously reported that Nigerian on Monday, August 9, lost one of its most prominent security experts, Chief Ona Ekhomu, who authored the book, Boko Haram: Security Considerations and the Rise of an Insurgency.
Ekhomu, the leader of the Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), died of COVID-19 in Lagos.
A native of Edo state who was born in 1955, Ekhomu was famed as the first chartered security professional in West Africa.