Cheydrick Britt Exonerated Based on DNA Test Results Proving Innocence
Britt Served Over Nine Years for a Sex Crime He Did Not Commit
(Tallahassee, FL) On November 20, 2013, the State Attorneys Office for the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit dropped all charges against Cheydrick Britt related to a 2002 sexual battery. Britt’s convictions and sentence for the sexual battery were vacated and he was released from prison on September 24, 2013, based on new DNA test results indicating Britt’s innocence of the sexual battery and lewd and lascivious molestation. Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Chet Tharpe signed the order vacating these convictions.
“I have been waiting for this moment for almost a decade. I always maintained my innocence and now the DNA testing has proven what I always knew to be true. Thank God for DNA,” said Britt upon his release.
The Office of the State Attorney agreed to postconviction DNA testing in this case on September 28, 2012 and the results showing that semen on the victim’s underwear came from an unknown male, excluding Britt as a contributor, were released on April 12, 2013. The DNA testing was performed at DNA Diagnostics Center, in Fairfield, Ohio. Local counsel, Charles Murray, Esq., and Melissa Montle, Esq. and Seth Miller, Esq., attorneys with the Innocence Project of Florida (“IPF”), worked closely with the Office of the State Attorney to facilitate the result on this case.
“I am thrilled that we were able to reunite Cheydrick with his family. We commend the State Attorney for taking an objective look at how these DNA test results impact the remaining evidence and pursuing justice in this case. This is a model for how prosecution and defense can collaborate to reach the just and right result,” said Melissa Montle, Staff Attorney with IPF.
Britt was wrongfully convicted for these offenses in May 2004. Britt spent over 9 years wrongfully convicted and incarcerated and is the 14th individual to be exonerated through the use of DNA testing in Florida since 2000.
IPF worked on Cheydrick Britt’s case for free, including drafting key motions and facilitating the DNA testing. Bonita Springs, Florida attorney Charles Murray was lead counsel, representing Mr. Britt since 2008.