Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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Virginia State News

December 13, 2012

Attorneys say DNA proves W.Va. inmate is innocent

CHARLESTON — Attorneys for a man who has served 11 years for a rape they say DNA proves he didn’t commit are asking a judge to release him.

Attorneys with the Innocence Project will appear in Harrison County Circuit Court Thursday to argue that Joseph Buffey’s conviction should be overturned.

Buffey pleaded guilty to the 2001 rape and robbery of an elderly Clarksburg woman, but quickly recanted.

In 2011, the Innocence Project secured a DNA test that attorneys say exonerates Buffey. After more than a year in court, Buffey won the right to test that DNA against a national criminal database and it matched someone who is currently serving time for other crimes.

Prosecuting Attorney Joseph Shaffer is fighting the motion, saying the tests do not prove Buffey is innocent.

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