In 2003, Dennis Perry was convicted in the Glynn County Magistrate Court in Brunswick for the 1985 murders of Harold and Thelma Swain. on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Perry has always maintained his innocence. A court filing by the Georgia Innocence Project says new DNA testing matches Erik Sparre, an earlier suspect. New testing came after learning that AJC reporting uncovered problems with Sparre's alibi. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC
Photo: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

The team that brought you "The Imperfect Alibi" and how it was reported

AJC reporter Joshua Sharpe began investigating the 35-year history of the double murder of Harold and Thelma Swain last summer to determine whether the man in prison for the crimes could be innocent. Dennis Perry, who was convicted nearly 20 years ago, has always maintained his innocence. And his lawyers at the Georgia Innocence Project and the King & Spalding law firm had filed a petition for his release, citing new evidence. 

Sharpe examined the 6,000-page investigative file and listened to a 24-hour-plus podcast about the case. He interviewed dozens of people across South Georgia and North Florida. They included Perry and two men who were suspects in the case at one time because they allegedly previously claimed to have committed the murders. Sharpe also spoke to sources who know those men, investigators who worked the case, relatives of the victims and many others. 

"The Imperfect Alibi" is a reconstruction of the murders and the 18-year-long police investigation that ended with Perry's conviction. It is brought to you by these members of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newsroom: 

REPORTER Joshua Sharpe covers crime and public safety for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. LEAD EDITOR Jan Winburn has worked for CNN, The Baltimore Sun and other newsrooms around the country. 

PRINT PRESENTATION: Liam MillerMike PerkinsSabrina Starrett-Wolff 

DIGITAL PRESENTATION: Angel BrooksLauren ColleyPete CorsonJason FoustPilar PlataMelanie StolteDave Young 

PODCAST: Bria FelicienBill Rankin

PROMOTION, SOCIAL, SEARCH: Kelly AudetteDrue MillerBrian O'Shea 

EDITING: Janel Davis, Bill RankinSusan HoganJennifer Brett 

VISUALS: Sandra BrownRyon HorneTyson HorneHyosub Shin 

LEADERSHIP: Leroy ChapmanAmy ChownShawn McIntoshMonica Richardson, Kevin RileyMark Waligore

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