Activists call for release of Daniel Larsen, who was ruled innocent by judge
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Community activists, along with friends and family members, are demanding the release of a man they said has already spent over 12 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. They are now confronting the state Attorney General's Office.
Members of the California Innocence Project carried petitions, which they said have 100,000 signatures. The petitions call for the release of Daniel Larsen, who is serving 25 years to life for a crime his supporters said he didn't commit. One federal judge agreed and the state attorney general is appealing the judge's finding.
Larsen's fiancée, Christina Combs, spread recent pictures of them on a ledge in front of the California Attorney General's Office. Larsen was convicted in 1999 of being an ex-felon in possession of a knife. That's a third strike for him. Two witnesses now are allegedly ready to testify he did not commit the crime.
"To this point in time, no one from the Attorney General's Office has ever met these witnesses, has ever asked whether the story is true or not," said Jan Stiglitz with the California Innocence Project.
Also at the news conference on Monday was former NFL recruit Bryan Banks, who spent five years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
"I'd definitely tell him to just hang in there and keep his head up. It's a day to day process, but he has the best people around him," said Banks.
The boxes of petitions were taken into the Los Angeles office of State Attorney General Kamala Harris. Harris has had no comment. Her office is still appealing a judge's decision to free Larsen. Larsen's fiancée said she won't rest until he is free.
"I have no doubts about his innocence. He has a very credible witness, the chief of police. He's innocent and he needs to be released," said Combs.
The witness is a former chief of police from North Carolina. The chief and his wife are supposedly willing to testify they never saw Larsen with a knife.
Larsen will be in prison at least another year, because it's going to take that long for the appellate court to make a ruling.
california news, john north
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