Following a four-year effort to exonerate Joseph Webster for his wrongful conviction of a 1998 murder, the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office has announced that it “no longer has confidence in the conviction of Mr. Webster” and recommends that “Mr. Webster’s conviction be vacated and the charges against him dismissed.” Acting on its Conviction Review Unit’s recommendation, the District Attorney’s Office filed a formal Notice of Intent to vacate and dismiss the charges against Mr. Webster on October 29, 2020. Mr. Webster’s exoneration will be the first in Nashville history since the Davidson County Conviction Review Unit was established in 2016.
“After a decade and a half in prison for a murder that he did not commit, I am overjoyed that Joseph Webster’s wrongful conviction will finally be overturned,” said Daniel Horwitz, Webster’s attorney. “Mr. Webster is immeasurably grateful to those who took the time to conduct a thorough reinvestigation of his case and see that this wrong was righted. Mr. Webster is also thinking of the entire Owens family at this time, which has to process the painful news of learning that the wrong person was convicted of committing this brutal murder.” A hearing that will enable Mr. Webster’s immediate release from prison is scheduled for November 10, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Webster’s case also resulted in the Conviction Review Unit’s first reinvestigation of a potential wrongful murder conviction in Nashville’s history.
Daniel Horwitz is an innocence and post-conviction attorney based in Nashville, Tennessee. If you would like to purchase a consultation from Horwitz, you can do so using the following form:
Selected Case Documents:
Selected Media Coverage:
-The Nashville Scene: DA’s Office Seeks Release for Nashville Man Convicted of 1998 Murder
Federal District Court Judge Eli Richardson has formally approved a $1 million civil judgment in favor of Conese Halliburton against ex-NYPD Officer Michael Reynolds, who was convicted in 2019 of multiple crimes related to a racial slur-laden Nashville home invasion. After being sentenced to jail by Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Mark Fishburn, Reynolds resigned from the NYPD in disgrace before termination proceedings could be completed. While he was serving his jail sentence, Ms. Halliburton also sued ex-Officer Reynolds in federal court, after which Reynolds declared bankruptcy.
Following litigation in both the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York and the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee, a $1 million civil judgment has now been entered against Reynolds regarding the incident, which comes in addition to his ongoing criminal sentence. The court’s order reflects that Reynolds has also admitted that all of the allegations in Ms. Halliburton’s Complaint—including her allegations regarding misconduct by other NYPD Officers—are true, and that Reynolds has stipulated to liability regarding Ms. Halliburton’s claims for trespass, trespass to chattels, conversion, assault, violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983, negligence, negligence per se, and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
“Ms. Halliburton promised from the beginning that she would hold ex-Officer Reynolds fully accountable for his criminal misconduct and obtain justice for her family regarding this despicable incident,” said Nashville attorney Daniel A. Horwitz, who represented Ms. Halliburton. “We are certainly pleased with this development, but we also aren’t finished here.” Selected case documents and media coverage are linked below.
Daniel Horwitz represents victims who have suffered serious injuries as a result of criminal and other misconduct in Tennessee. If you would like to purchase a consultation from him, you can do using the form below.
Selected Media Coverage:
-New York Times: Officer Who Admitted Making Racist Threat Quits After an Uproar
-Insurance Journal: Former NYPD Officer Ordered to Pay $1M Over Tennessee Break-In
-US News and World Report: NYPD Officer Accused of Home Break-In, Attack Enters Plea
-WTVF: Attorney: Resignation of NYPD cop in Nashville racist attack long overdue