For nearly three decades, Thomas Haynesworth has been locked in a Virginia prison for a string of rapes and other attacks. DNA evidence has since proven Haynesworth is innocent in two of the cases and his legal team is now preparing to ask a court for his freedom.
Haynesworth, now 45, has never used an ATM machine, made a call on a cell phone or hugged many of his nieces and nephews. He prays he will be exonerated. His mother, Delores Haynesworth, has a room waiting for him in her Richmond home if he is released.
In 2005, the exonerations of five wrongly-convicted men prompted then-Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) to order a sweeping review of thousands of files from 1973 through 1988. Haynesworth’s case was among them. http://wpo.st/64U2
Weeks after Haynesworth is convicted, Leon W. Davis is accused in about a dozen attacks that occurred between April and December 1984. Davis and Haynesworth lived in the same neighborhood and not only shared a physical resemblance but also the same blood type.
In the fall of 1983, one of Haynesworth's five accusers takes the witness stand in a Richmond courtroom and recounts the day she was raped at the daycare center where she worked. She identifies Haynesworth as her attacker, pointing to him in court. She says there was no question in her mind that he was the man in the blue ski mask.