Wrongly convicted man released after spending 10 years in prison

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SEATTLE — A wrongly convicted Seattle man who spent 10 years in prison after being convicted of robbery and burglary has been released.

Brandon Olebar was released from prison after the Innocence Project Northwest persuaded King County prosecutors to re-examine his conviction, which was based solely on eyewitness testimony, The Seattle Times reported in today’s newspaper.

Two students from the Innocence Project Northwest, based at the University of Washington Law School, pulled together evidence that Olebar was not among the people who in February 2003 broke into the home of his sister’s boyfriend and pistol-whipped and beat the man unconscious.

A King County jury convicted him solely on the basis of eyewitness testimony and sentenced him to 16 and a-half years in prison, according to an Innocence Project statement.

Project Director Jacqueline McMurtrie said the two law students, Nikki Carsley and Kathleen Klineall, tracked down and interviewed three of the assailants, who signed sworn statements admitting their involvement and denying that Olebar was present during the attack.

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