The Crime: A man robbed and attacked a woman with a screwdriver outside her car in a St. Louis parking lot in August 1996. As she fled the scene, the victim noticed the assailant's blood covered the driver's side door. The victim could identify two distinguishable features about her attacker: he was about 5'10'' and had a "David Letterman-like" gap between his teeth. After police drew a composite sketch, they arrested Beaver, who resembled the composite, although he was 6'2'' and had chipped teeth. The victim identified him in a lineup, and he was sentenced to 18 years for first-degree robbery.
The Exoneration: Although investigators collected the perpetrator's blood at the scene, it wasn't used in Beaver's defense. In 2001, he filed a motion on his own behalf requesting DNA testing. When the Innocence Project took over his case in 2006, the state agreed to testing, which proved that Beaver couldn't have committed the crime. "I'd like to give my thanks to God, because there is a God, and he knew I was innocent from the start," he said after a judge dropped all charges against him. He had served more than a decade in prison.
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