DETROIT, MI — Walter Forbes, an African American man who was wrongfully convicted and had served 37 years of his life sentence, is now finally free following the confession of the star witness, Annice Kennebrew. She has admitted to lying in her previous testimony.
In 1982, Forbes was convicted for arson and murder after Kennebrew’s false statements linked him to a crime he did not commit.
Court documents from an evidentiary hearing in February 2020 stated that Kennebrew was “intimidated into doing so by two local men who knew her from around the neighborhood and who had threatened to harm her and her family if she did not implicate Mr. Forbes.”
The case rooted in an incident on July 11, 1982, wherein Forbes broke up a bar fight and was shot by Dennis Hall. The next day, Hall was killed in a fire at his apartment. Kennebrew then testified that Forbes and two other men burnt down Hall’s apartment.
Kennebrew decided to admit that she lied in her testimony in 2017. It was found that the owner of the apartment burned it down to get insurance money, making him responsible for Hall’s death. The owner was convicted of the arson but was not officially incriminated in Hall’s death.
Despite all that, Kennebrew will not get any punishment and can just get away with the lie she did 37 years ago since the statute of limitations for perjury only lasts for 6 years.
Moreover, Forbes, who is now 63-years old, said he already forgave her and the other people who were at fault for having him convicted. He said he is just thankful that he is finally with his family again after a long time.
“It was one of those moments where all you can do is grin,” he said.