LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Nevada man who was wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison is due to receive $2.25 million in compensation for his time behind bars.
DeMarlo Berry was exonerated on the murder conviction in 2017 and released from prison after another man confessed to the killing. The compensation is the result of a bill that was passed in the 2019 legislative session allowing for people who are wrongfully incarcerated to collect payments from the state for the time they’ve lost. In Berry’s case, that is 22 years.
The murder of Carl’s Junior restaurant manager Charles Burkes occurred in 1994 during a robbery. A witness for the prosecution had lied to the jury saying Berry was involved. Berry happened to be walking near the restaurant at the time of the crime which led to him being questioned by police and then becoming a suspect.
Berry testified before the Nevada Legislature when the bill was being heard.
“I was so inspired by DeMarlo Berry during the 2019 Legislative Session when he used his personal experience to advocate for change,” said Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford. “His story helped codify Assembly Bill 267 into law, creating a lasting difference in the lives of unjustly incarcerated individuals in Nevada.
Ford granted a Certificate of Innocence to Berry and announced he would receive $2.25 million in statutory damages. The compensation is expected to receive final approval by the Board of Examiners on Aug. 11, 2020. Berry is the first person in Nevada to receive the Certificate of Innocence under this new statute.