Man declared innocent of attempted murder after 33 years in California prison

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A California Man who spent 33 years in prison for attempted murder has been declared innocent and released angel The county district attorney made the announcement Thursday.

Daniel Saldana, 55, was convicted in 1990 of opening fire on a car containing six teenagers leaving a high school football game in Baldwin Park, east of Los Angeles. Two students were injured but survived.

Authorities said the assailants mistook the teenagers for gang members.

Saldana was 22 at the time of shooting and worked full-time as a construction worker. He was one of three men charged with assault. After pleading guilty to six counts of attempted murder and one count of shooting at an occupied vehicle, Saldana was sentenced to 45 years in state prison.

Saldana appeared with District Attorney George Gascon at a press conference Thursday announcing her release. He said he was grateful to be free.

“It’s a struggle, knowing every day that you’re innocent and here I am, locked in a cell, crying out for help,” Saldana said, according to Southern California News Group.

He said, “I am very happy that this day has come.”

Gascon’s office launched the investigation in February after learning that another convicted assailant told authorities during a 2017 parole hearing that Saldana “was not involved in the shooting in any way and was not present during the incident,” the DA said. he said.

Gascon said a former deputy district attorney was present at the hearing, “but apparently he did nothing” and failed to share necessary information with Saldana or her attorney.

Gascon said this caused Saldana to spend an additional six years in prison before the DA’s office reopened the case and declared her innocent.

The district attorney did not reveal other details of the case but apologized to Saldana and her family.

“I know it won’t bring you back the decades you spent in prison,” he said. “But I hope our apology brings you some small consolation as you start your new life.”

Gascon said: “Not only is it a tragedy to put people in prison for a crime they didn’t commit, but every time an injustice of this magnitude is committed, the real people responsible go on to commit other crimes.” are out.”