Man in prison for 31 years on possibility of a new trial: "I want the truth to come out"

New docs could shed light on decades-old case

Crosley Green was found guilty of shooting and killing 22-year-old Chip Flynn in 1989, but may take a big step towards freedom tomorrow after spending over 30 years in prison. Green has always maintained his innocence and even rejected a plea deal from prosecutors along the way.  In July of 2018,  a federal judge reversed his conviction and the state's appeal of that ruling will now be argued to a federal appeals court.

"I've been convicted for a crime I didn't commit. Thirty-one years. That's enough to break a man. That's enough to destroy a man," Green told "48 Hours" correspondent Erin Moriarty, who has been following the case since 1999 and spoke to Green ahead of the hearing.

Prosecutors had relied on the word of Chip Flynn's former girlfriend, Kim Hallock, when they charged Green. However documents show that, at the time, two first responders thought she might have shot him herself.

In the early morning hours of April 4, 1989, Flynn was found alive in a Florida orange grove with a single bullet in his chest. Hallock told police that a black man had robbed the couple, hijacked them, and then shot Flynn.

Brevard County first responders Mark Rixey and Sargent Diane Clark, now retired, found Flynn lucid and talking. They questioned why Hallock drove to a friend's house instead of immediately calling 911.  

"I don't believe a word she says," Rixey said. "First words out of his mouth were 'Get me outta here, I wanna go home.'"

Rixey and Clark said Flynn had not mentioned anything about an assailant.

Hallock was never investigated as the possible shooter even though she admitted the couple had argued and Flynn was seeing another woman. Detectives instead arrested 31-year-old Crosley Green and charged him with kidnapping, robbery and murder. Green had been a small-time local drug dealer at the time.

Hallock picked Green's photo from what his defense attorneys called a rigged line-up, even though she admitted she did not get a good look at the assailant.

Rixey compared Green's arrest to "picking a name out of a hat."

Florida man awaits hearing after overturned conviction

Green's attorney Keith Harrison said his picture was put in what is known in investigative circles as the "bulls-eye," because it is "where your eyes naturally go to first."

Rixey and Clarke took their doubts to Christopher White, the assistant state attorney handling the case. White took notes and said he reviewed the evidence they had with the law enforcement officials' hypothesis.

"Do they give me cause to believe that Kim Hallock may have committed this murder?" White posed in a 2015 interview. "My answer is no."

Prosecutors built their case around three witnesses, including Green's sister, Sheila. She testified that he had confessed to them, although all three later recanted their testimonies.

Green got his break when his attorneys obtained the notes from White's meeting with Rixey and Clarke.

"Mark and Diane suspect the girl did it… she changed her story a couple of times… also noticed, she never asked how the victim was," Harrison, Green's attorney, said while reading off the notes.

It was in July 2018 that a federal judge ruled that withholding the notes from Green kept him from getting a fair trial and overturned the conviction. However, because of an appeal from the state of Florida, Green is still in prison.

"I want the truth to come out, okay," Green said. "The truth in this case is that I have been locked up all these years for a crime I didn't commit. And hopefully, I get that chance to go home. That's the truth."

The Florida Attorney General's office said it was unable to comment on the pending case, but in a brief filed last year, it called the court's reversal procedurally, factually and legally incorrect. CBS News has reached out to Kim Hallock and Christopher White for comment; they have not responded.