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For now, steak, and savoring life on the outside for freed Dewey (Exhonerated after 16 years)
Grand Junction Sentinel ^ | May 1, 012 | Paul Shockley

Posted on 05/01/2012 4:56:59 PM PDT by GSWarrior

How do you start rebuilding a life after 16 lost years?

For starters, in the case of 51-year-old Robert Dwain Dewey, you eat well.

“He said he wanted a filet mignon steak, first thing,” Donna Weston, 71, Dewey’s mother, said after a press conference Monday morning at the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department.

That cut-of-awesomeness meal will have to be restaurant variety, she said. Donna and her husband, Jim, packed up their RV Friday morning in Ridgecrest, Calif., for a 760-mile ride to Grand Junction, which was three days after getting the phone call of a lifetime. The one they’d prayed about for 16 years.

“It’s been very long, very hard,” Donna Weston said. “I just pray that the right person has been caught.”

On the business of life out of prison, there were more questions than answers for Dewey on Monday.

Danyel Joffe, Dewey’s attorney and advocate since 2001, said Dewey was expected to get his first cellphone on Monday. Immediate plans were for Dewey to leave Grand Junction and stay with a friend out-of-state, assuming of course he could get on an airplane, she said.

“He needs an ID … will they accept a prison ID? We have no idea,” Joffe said.

What could Dewey do on the outside? He formerly worked in construction, while Jim Weston said his son was skilled at working on engines, particularly motorcycles.

“Engines have changed a lot, too, since he’s been in,” Weston said.

Among immediate pressing needs is possible back surgery, Joffe said. Dewey, prior to prison, had a steel rod placed in his back, and Dewey has complained of a screw tweaking nerves in his spine.

“One of the first things will be getting him to a doctor,” she said. “It’s been real severe over the last 15 months.”

Jason Kreag, a staff attorney with the New York-based Innocence Project, an advocacy group that has worked with Joffe to free Dewey since 2009, said the organization has assigned a social worker to tend to Dewey’s needs. Donna Weston said she understood that person will be working with her son at least for the next year.

“She’ll help him with the smallest tasks, everything from deciding whether he wants job training,” Kreag said.

Unlike some states, Colorado lawmakers haven’t established any mechanism by which assistance is offered for inmates exonerated of crimes, he said.

“At least when released on parole or probation, (Department of Corrections) gives you something,” Kreag said. “Mr. Dewey won’t have that.”

At Monday’s press conference, Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said, “We’re very regretful of the fact Dewey spent so much time in prison.”

Hautzinger, who at one point was asked about the possibility of civil litigation by Dewey, said there has been nothing suggesting law enforcement misconduct, such as withholding exculpatory evidence from Dewey’s defense, during the original 1994 to 1996 investigation, which ended with Dewey sentenced to life in prison without parole.

“This office prosecuted the best available suspect at the time with the best available evidence,” Hautzinger said.

Assistant District Attorney Rich Tuttle, one of two prosecutors who tried Dewey, echoed similar observations.

“If you could name an emotion, I’ve had it,” Tuttle said of recent efforts to exonerate Dewey, while embarking on a fresh murder probe.

“Looking back, I wouldn’t have done anything differently based on the information we had at the time,” Tuttle said.

There, Joffe, who was a prosecutor in the 7th Judicial District in Montrose and Delta counties between 1984 and 1986, remains at odds with Mesa County.

“The evidence against him was so weak, he shouldn’t have been prosecuted,” Joffe said.

Joffe declined comment on the original investigation by the Palisade Police Department, which was actually spearheaded by the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. Joffe also wasn’t interested in questions of civil litigation against Mesa County, saying Dewey’s priority will be “finding his free legs.”

“How do you decide what 18 years of your life are worth?” she asked.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Colorado
KEYWORDS: colorado; donnaweston; jasonkreag; jimweston; robertdwaindewey
Apparently, DNA evidence cleared this man.
1 posted on 05/01/2012 4:57:05 PM PDT by GSWarrior
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To: GSWarrior
“The evidence against him was so weak, he shouldn’t have been prosecuted,” Joffe said.

A similar fate awaiting George Zimmerman?

2 posted on 05/01/2012 5:04:22 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: GSWarrior

““This office prosecuted the best available suspect at the time with the best available evidence,””

nope, nothing wrong with that comment at all.
“Forget solid evidence, this guy is close enough”


3 posted on 05/01/2012 5:06:03 PM PDT by PissAndVinegar
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To: GSWarrior
background

Robert Dwain Dewey walks from District Court between his lawyers Monday, a free man after being exonerated in the brutal slaying of 19-year-old Jacie Taylor in Palisade in June 1994. Danyel Joffe, left, a Denver lawyer, worked for more than 10 years on the case of Dewey, who had maintained his innocence in Taylor’s death. Joffe was supported by the New York Innocence Project. Also shown is Jason Kreag, a lawyer with the New York Innocence Project.

4 posted on 05/01/2012 5:19:20 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: GSWarrior

Not much of a news report. What was he convicted of and what led to his exoneration?


5 posted on 05/01/2012 5:29:26 PM PDT by Misterioso ( There's no one worse than a lapsed Objectivist. -- Eddie Willers)
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To: A.A. Cunningham

My,what big hands you have, Ms. Joffe.


6 posted on 05/01/2012 5:32:39 PM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: A.A. Cunningham

The one of the left is a man? Looks like a BIG woman. I need some sleep, I guess. My eyes are playing tricks on me.


7 posted on 05/01/2012 5:34:28 PM PDT by carriage_hill (((.)))
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To: carriage_hill

OMG, that IS a woman. I need sleep. Night.


8 posted on 05/01/2012 5:36:45 PM PDT by carriage_hill (((.)))
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To: RegulatorCountry; carriage_hill
Reminiscent of Roberta Muldoon in The World According to Garp


9 posted on 05/01/2012 5:42:10 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: GSWarrior

Not many things would suck quite as much as spending lots of years in prison and being innocent.


10 posted on 05/01/2012 6:26:44 PM PDT by TigersEye (Life is about choices. Your choices. Make good ones.)
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To: carriage_hill

Your eyes are fine and so are mine.


11 posted on 05/01/2012 6:30:10 PM PDT by This I Wonder32460
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To: Misterioso

I agree, sloppy article and indicative of the decline of true journalism. It’s not rocket science, we just need the “who, what, where, when, why and how.”


12 posted on 05/01/2012 6:35:01 PM PDT by SamAdams76 (I am 19 days away from outliving Phil Hartman)
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To: SamAdams76

Those were answered in previous articles.


13 posted on 05/01/2012 6:50:52 PM PDT by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: GSWarrior

Story says nothing about what convicted him or what got him off the hook. I’m always skeptible about the innocence project as they seem to only represent people who are guilty as hell , but there was no video or such. Anything that involves Barry Shect is questionable. Folks in the vicinity of where he is released need to be on the watch for a repeater


14 posted on 05/01/2012 7:27:43 PM PDT by Figment
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To: This I Wonder32460
Danyel Joffe, a lawyer...

That's a woman's name?

Okay, I give up. It is what it is.

15 posted on 05/02/2012 3:54:34 AM PDT by carriage_hill (((.)))
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