LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A Corona mother wrongfully convicted of murder will not be going back behind bars after being tried several times and spending nearly a decade in prison.
Kimberly Long was charged with killing her boyfriend back in 2003 and was exonerated several years later only to find out an appellate court wanted to reverse that decision.
With help from the California Innocence Project, the California Supreme Court threw out her conviction, prompting an emotional response from Long.
“This is the best Christmas present I could have ever asked for,” Long said.
According to court records, Long and her then-boyfriend, Ozzy Conde, got into a heated argument in front of her Corona home after a day and night of bar hopping with friends.
Long left with a male friend and when she arrived back home she found Conde covered in blood, the court records stated.
Police accused Long of beating Conde to death and then getting rid of her bloody clothes and the murder weapon.
Long was then arrested and charged with his murder.
Her first trial ended in a mistrial with nine of the 12 jurors voting not guilty.
When she was tried a second time, the jury convicted her and she spent more than seven years in prison.
With help from the California Innocence Project, it was eventually determined by a judge that the defense by Long’s original attorney was inadequate and the evidence pointing to her innocence was credible.
So, the conviction was overturned, with the court finding it “highly unlikely” that Long killed Conde.
An appellate court later reinstated the decision, but the California Supreme Court has now reversed that ruling, tossing it out.
Prosecutors could try Long another time, but her attorneys think that’s unlikely since the state Supreme Court tossed out the conviction.