A Washington man can finally rejoice after serving nearly three decades in prison over a murder he was convicted of in 1980. Santae Tribble (pictured), now 51, was found guilty on July 26, 1978, for the murder of a District cab driver due to a strand of hair the FBI found at the scene. After presenting DNA evidence and other documents from police that were never shown during the trial, D.C. Superior Courts overturned the 1980 ruling, according to the Washington Post.
“I’m overjoyed. I always felt like it would happen, but it took so long I started to wonder,” said Tribble to the Post in a phone interview. A video profile shot last month shows the handsome, soft-spoken Tribble explaining the holes in his case and his thankfulness that the case is nearing a close.
While Tribble’s conviction is out of the way and he cannot be tried again for the case, according to the Post, he still has to file papers to exonerate himself completely.
“Mr. Tribble’s struggle for justice is not yet over. He will now seek a certificate of innocence from the court,” said Sandra K. Levick, chief of special litigation for the D.C. Public Defender Service.
Tribble’s case is one of many under investigation for wrong convictions, with the Justice Department acknowledging that the use of DNA evidence and weak testimonies have led to a series of wrongly convicted persons nationwide.
Watch the video of Santae discussing his time in prison here.