Lewis Fogle Freed After 34 Years: DNA Helps Pennsylvania Man Go Free In Murder Of Teenage Girl
After 34 years, Lewis Fogle is a free man thanks to his family and a group of devoted people from the Pennsylvania Innocence Project. Mr. Fogle spent half of his life in prison for raping and killing a teenage girl, which he always denied and recent DNA tests proved that he was telling the truth.
Lewis Fogle has been released after spending 34 years in prison for the brutal rape and murder of a teenager named Deann “Kathy” Long.
Fogle’s sentence was overturned thanks to the DNA evidence gathered by the folks working for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.
In 1982, Lewis Fogle, who was barely 30 and had just welcomed his first child with his wife, Deb, was convicted of the rape and murder of Deann “Kathy” Long. Miss Long, a 15-year-old girl from Indiana County, was raped and killed via a gunshot to the head in July of 1976. Her body was discovered few miles from her home.
Fogle was convicted in a rather bizarre manner. Three inmates testified saying that he had confessed to the rape and murder while they were all locked up behind bars. The men had no evidence linking Fogle to the killing of the teenager, and he had always denied his involvement in the shooting.
A fourth man, Earl Elderkin, who is claimed to have “severe psychiatric disabilities,” was hypnotized by an unlicensed hypnotist and revealed that Fogle was the killer.
While in prison, Fogle had always stated that he was innocent and said he had a clear alibi. The day of the kidnapping and the murder, Fogle said he was with his parents and brothers the whole time. Moreover, that night, he shared few drinks at a local bar with a group of friends.
Despite the fact that his family and friends confirmed his whereabouts, he was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison. In August 2015, the Innocence Project provided DNA evidence that Fogle was not the killer, but he remained in prison until September 14, which is when Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty accepted to dismiss the charges.
Karen Thompson, staff attorney for the Innocence Project, said:
“Thirty-four years is an extremely long time to serve for a crime he didn’t commit.”
Dougherty, who believes that Fogle took part in the killing, added:
“I still believe [Fogle] was involved [in the murder].It’s simply a matter of we don’t have the evidence.”
According to Mr. Dougherty, his office will continue to treat the 1976 murder as an open investigation, and they are following “multiple persons of interest at this point.”
Lewis Fogle has been reunited with his wife and is hoping to sell the paintings he worked on while behind bars.