Please help to fund these innocent men who lost 27 years of their lives to wrongful conviction. Wallace Brandon Jones and Leroy Spruill hardly knew each other in December 1993 when the justice system tried to pit them against each other for the murder of Frank Swain in Washington County, NC. Both knew the other was innocent because they had been together with friends listening to a band at a local bar at the time of the murder. They had the truth and integrity on their side, but that didn't save them from being sentenced to life plus 40 years.
The North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence began investigating Brandon and Leroy's case when they both applied in 2001. After being denied access to files and evidence, in 2009 the Center referred the case to a State agency that had more access, the NC Innocence Inquiry Commission. Finally, in 2018, an eight-member panel unanimously found that there was sufficient evidence of factual innocence in the cases to merit judicial review. After delays caused by the pandemic and the disappearance of a key witness who was threatened and bullied into testifying against them in 1995 (DM, where are you??? You're innocent too.), the men needed to come home. On November 9, 2021, after 27 years spent behind bars for a crime they did not commit, Brandon and Leroy walked to freedom after making the painfully difficult decision to accept Alford pleas that allowed them to be released with time served.
Both men have always maintained their innocence, and they will continue to do that as free men. The Center, along with family and friends, will help Brandon and Leroy as they rebuild their lives and we ask that you consider contributing to this next chapter of their story. All contributions will be split evenly and given directly to Brandon and Leroy.