WASHINGTON - A District of Columbia judge has declared that a 50-year-old man is innocent of a 1982 rape and slaying that put him in prison for 25 years.
Kevin Martin was issued a certificate of actual innocence on Monday following a more than 12-year effort to clear his name. Martin was released from prison on parole in 2009, reports CBS affiliate WUSA9.
"It feels like I was living in horror, you know, like a dream gone bad," Martin told WUSA9. "...I just feel like it's my time.... it's about time."
Martin entered an Alford plea in 1984 to one count of manslaughter while armed in the rape and killing of 19-year-old Ursula Brown. Brown was abducted, raped and shot repeatedly after someone rammed into her car on the highway and she got out of the car to confront the other driver, WUSA9 reports. Her body was later found in between a dumpster and a school in Southeast Washington.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says DNA evidence later revealed that Brown was the victim of a serial rapist.
An Alford plea is a form of guilty plea in which a defendant does not admit wrongdoing but agrees the government has enough evidence for a conviction. Martin also pleaded guilty to two armed robberies in which he admitted his involvement, but has always denied that he was involved in Brown's abduction, rape and killing.
As for the time he spent in prison, "I can never get that back and I feel like I missed out on a lot on a lot of opportunities," Martin told WUSA9.