Darryl Howard

Darryl Howard wants another chance at proving his innocence in the 1991 killings of 29-year-old Doris Washington and her 13-year-old daughter Nishonda. Howard served more than two decades in prison after a jury found him guilty. In 2014, a judge overturned the verdicts. However, the State Court of Appeals reversed the decision, saying proper procedures weren't followed. Howard and his attorneys are asking the judge for a new trial based on DNA evidence. The defense claimed the victims were sexually assaulted by two different men, and neither of the DNA samples matched Howard's. A forensic DNA analyst testified, backing the claim. 'You got two men, leaving DNA in these women, two different women, and we know all of it excluded Darryl Howard,' argued Attorney James Cooney. Cooney says that one of the DNA samples belonged to Jermeck Jones, who will testify for the defense. However, prosecutors argue that witnesses placed Howard at the crime scene, saying the murders were possibly drug related. Police arrested Howard for trespassing the same day of the murders. Former prosecutor Mike Nifong is also expected to take the stand. He was disbarred as Durham County's District Attorney for his handling of the Duke lacrosse case. Defense attorneys argued that Nifong withheld evidence that would have freed Howard. Howard is also accused of setting fire to the apartment unit where the victims were killed.