John Edward Smith, former Calif. gang member, expects to be exonerated of murder today

This image provided by Deirdre O'Connor shows a booking photo of John Edward Smith. Prosecutors are going to court Friday Sept. 21, 2012 to seek dismissal of charges against a former gang member convicted of a drive-by murder in a gang infested neighborhood of Los Angeles 19 years ago.
AP Photo/Deirdre O'Connor
John Edward Smith is to seek dismissal of the murder and attempted murder charges against him
AP Photo/Deirdre O'Connor

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - John Edward Smith, the former Los Angeles gang member who was kept behind bars for 19 years, is due in court today to be cleared of his murder conviction.

Smith's lawyers are expected to ask a judge on Monday afternoon to vacate his murder and attempted murder convictions for a 1993 drive-by shooting. Prosecutors plan to support the motion.

Smith was 18- years-old when he went to prison. His lawyers said he wasn't at the shooting scene. The only eyewitness, a victim who was shot and survived, recently recanted and said police pressured him to identify Smith as the shooter.

Smith, now 38, had a hearing scheduled for last Friday, but it was postponed when the judge fell ill. He spent the weekend in jail.

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Sept. 21, 2012 - John Edward Smith, former Calif. gang member, likely to be cleared of murder charges in 1993 shooting, report says