Did Georgia convict the wrong man of murder? When DNA evidence isn't enough.

Devonia Inman has spent nearly 18 years behind bars for a murder he and his legal team say he didn't commit. They say new DNA evidence proves it, but Georgia's legal system won't grant him a new trial.

The evidence? A ski mask found inside the victim's car contains the saliva of another man who is serving life in prison in a separate killing. It was tested years after Inman was convicted for the 1998 murder of a Taco Bell manager in Adel.

Devonia Inman

The AJC on Sunday highlighted the case on the front page in a story that detailed Inman's struggles to get a new trial. Despite the DNA evidence of a man who killed two convenience store workers in Adel in 2000, a court in 2014 ruled that wasn't enough for Inman to get a new trial. Inman has, more or less, run out of legal options and faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison.

"Once you are convicted of a crime, the facts of a case don't really matter that much anymore in the court system," says Georgia Innocence Project Director Aimee Maxwell, "It's basically trying to get a court to care that you are actually innocent."

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About the Author

Brad Schrade
Brad Schrade
Brad Schrade is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter on the AJC’s investigative team.