Los Angeles man declared innocent after decades of wrongful imprisonment

Hastings has maintained his innocence since his arrest.

Published: March 2, 2023 8:18am

Updated: March 2, 2023 9:04am

A Los Angeles judge has declared a man innocent after he spent over 38 years incarcerated for a 1983 murder for which he was wrongfully convicted.

Officials released Maurice Hastings from prison last year after DNA evidence directed investigators toward a suspect who died in prison in 2020,according to the Associated Press. Judge William Ryan took the additional step Wednesday to declare Hastings "factually innocent" of the murder.

"I’m ready to move on with my life. I’m a happy man today," Hastings said following the hearing, per the Los Angeles Innocence Project.

"He spent nearly four decades in prison exhausting every avenue to prove his innocence while being repeatedly denied," Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon said about the case. 

Hastings has maintained his innocence since his arrest for the death of Roberta Wydermyer, who was sexually assaulted and shot to death, according to officials.

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