An Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals order filed Thursday says Tommy Ward will stay in prison while the court considers the state attorney general’s objection to his release.
A lower court ordered Ward's release in late December, but Attorney General Mike Hunter succeeded in temporarily blocking his release by announcing his intent to file an appeal.
The appellate court’s order gives the state until mid-February to file its argument.
The judge who ordered Ward’s release found that his constitutional rights were violated at trial, because police and prosecutors didn’t turn over evidence that would have aided his defense. The judge also said the evidence used to convict Ward was severely flawed.
Ward’s co-defendant has already been released for similar reasons, and also faces an appeal filed by the Attorney General’s Office.
Both men were subjects of the Netflix documentary, The Innocent Man, and a New York Times bestselling book by the same name.
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