Local News

McCrory pardons wrongfully convicted man

Posted May 19, 2016 12:19 p.m. EDT
Updated May 19, 2016 2:22 p.m. EDT

— Gov. Pat McCrory issued a pardon of innocence Thursday for a Scotland County man who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Edward McInnis was convicted in 1988 of raping an 81-year-old woman in her Laurinburg home and was sentenced to life in prison.

Last year, McInnis appealed his case to the state Innocence Inquiry Commission, which led to a search of DNA in the case to support or refute his petition. Laurinburg police were able to locate evidence from the 27-year-old case, and the DNA proved another man was responsible for the rape.

A Superior Court judge dismissed the charges against McInnis last August and released him from prison.

"On behalf of the State of North Carolina, I apologize to Mr. McInnis for the 27 years he had to spend behind bars for crimes he did not commit," McCrory said in a statement. "While we cannot give him back those years of his life, I wish him well as he resumes his life as a free man."

The pardon makes McInnis eligible to file a claim under North Carolina law that allows compensation of up to $750,000 to persons wrongly convicted of felonies.