GRETNA, La. — The Latest on a Louisiana man whose conviction in a 1979 rape case was thrown out after he spent close to four decades behind bars (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

A Louisiana man imprisoned for nearly four decades is free after being cleared in a 1979 rape.

Fifty-eight-year-old Malcolm Alexander’s conviction and life sentence were thrown out Tuesday by a state judge in Gretna, a New Orleans suburb. Prosecutors moved to dismiss the charge and, hours later, Alexander was released from the Jefferson Parish jail.

Judge June Darensburg threw out the conviction after defense attorneys argued Alexander’s trial lawyer had failed to point out that the victim had been doubtful when she identified Alexander as her attacker.

According to lawyers with the New York-based Innocence Project, DNA evidence also bolstered the argument that Alexander was not the attacker.

Alexander’s relatives wept and applauded in the courtroom when Darensburg ordered his release.


11:30 a.m.

A Louisiana man imprisoned for nearly four decades has been cleared in a 1979 rape and is preparing to walk free.

Fifty-eight-year-old Malcolm Alexander’s conviction was thrown out Tuesday by a state judge in Jefferson Parish. Prosecutors moved to dismiss the charge. Alexander was expected to walk free after clearing paper work Tuesday afternoon.

Judge June Darensburg threw out the conviction after defense attorneys argued Alexander’s trial lawyer had failed to point out that the victim had been doubtful when she identified Alexander as her attacker.

DNA evidence also played a role in the reversal. Lawyers from the New York-based Innocence Project handled the case. They thanked Jefferson Parish authorities for their cooperation.

Alexander’s relatives — including his 82-year-old mother — applauded and broke into tears in court.

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