Missouri Inmate Requests Release After Others Confess To 30-Year-Old Crime

By Taylor Linzinmeir

December 12, 2022

Midsection Of Man Standing In Prison
Photo: Getty Images

Today (December 12), a case begins to see if a Missouri man's conviction will be overturned after two other people later confessed to the crime. The hearing in St. Louis Circuit Court is expected to last up to five days.

Lamar Johnson was convicted in 1995 for the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Marcus Boyd over a $40 drug debt. He received a life sentence, and has been incarcerated for the last three decades. Another suspect, Phil Campbell, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in exchange for a seven-year prison term.

Johnson has long maintained his innocence. He claims he was with his girlfriend miles away when Boyd was killed. In addition, the state's only witness recanted his identification of Johnson and Campbell as the shooters years later, and two other men have since confessed to the crime and said Johnson was not involved.

"I believe in God. I believe that he had a purpose for me other than to spend the rest of my life in prison. ... I think you can lie, you can deny, you can hide the truth, but eventually it's going to find a way. ... I'm comforted in that," Johnson told KMOV-TV. He added he believes any impartial judge will be able to see his innocence.

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