State News

Hickory man found innocent after 24 years in prison

Posted October 5, 2012
Updated October 9, 2012

— A man who spent almost 24 years in prison after he was convicted of rape has now been found innocent of the crime.

A three-judge panel ruled Friday that Willie Grimes did not rape and kidnap a 69-year-old woman from Hickory in 1987.  Willie Grimes Innocence Commission hearing video

Grimes' lawyer presented evidence during the weeklong hearing that showed police did not question a half-dozen people who said Grimes was somewhere else when the rape happened. They also showed that two fingerprints found at the home where the rape happened were linked to another man, who has been charged with several rapes during the 1970s.

District Attorney Jay Gaither apologized to Grimes, who was released on parole in May.

Grimes says his first step will be to get himself off the state's sex offender registry.


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  • tceawvzwvpev Oct 8, 2012

    I hope he sues the heck out of the people who imprisoned him and he's compensated for his years of lost time. People have gotten away with far worse:

  • superman Oct 8, 2012

    Cant help but remember the Jason Young trial. He wasnt in town either. The state never proved he was. Can we get a little white justice?

  • iknowjack Oct 8, 2012

    Aw, c'mon, jackflash, whatcha got against Republicans? LOL

  • Jack Flash Oct 5, 2012

    If the Internet had existed 29 years ago, there'd have been 20 pages of comments here about how guilty he was based on his mugshot and how he should get the death penalty.

  • jdupree Oct 5, 2012

    These commissions should not just turn someone loose. All parties involved, DA, arresting officer, all witnesses and the Judge should be called before the panel and whomever messed up should at least be somewhat personally responsible. If people were held accountable to do their jobs, they would. It appears he may be innocent, but there needs to be a lot more details before we know for sure. How was he identified?

  • djofraleigh Oct 5, 2012

    Cary just removed red light traffic cameras. 120,000 people were ticketed for running red lights. The ticketed car owner got a picture of the event, and videos of the events are available on line. If someone protested, the tickets were usually rescinded without charge, or reviewed and judged again. The driver had the video to use on his behalf for those erroneous tickets, such as flashing yellow, right on red, or in the end, a second too little length of the yellow light at said speed.

    I paid two tickets, and yes, I run red lights if I see the intersection clear at midnight. In Knightdale the cameras showed a tractor trailer was one one who ran a red light at 85mph destroying an little sedan.

    At 99.99% accuracy even before appeal, Cary has done away with the technology for PR reasons.

    Cary is doing nothing now. Knightdale continues cameras.

    The law needs to be changed forcing fines to be paid 100% to schools, and technology should be used in many ways to save thousands of lives

  • bombayrunner Oct 5, 2012

    he deserves whatever it is to make at least somekind of smile return.

  • 12-21-12 Oct 5, 2012

    man ... he looks ticked off. I would be also and my picture wouldnt be taken I would lash out at everyone

  • 12-21-12 Oct 5, 2012

    how much do we give him? zillions?

  • bombayrunner Oct 5, 2012

    man ... he looks ticked off.