The Incarceration of Chad Heins when justice changed alL

The incarceration of Chad Heins changed American law.

Chad Heins shared an apartment with his brother Jeremy Heins and sister-in-law Tina Heins in Mayport, Florida. Chad suffered from sleep disorders and the night of April 17, 1994, nineteen-year-old Heins arrived home before his sister-in-law and passed out drunk on the living room sofa.

The next morning at 6:00 A.M. Heins woke up to three small fires in the apartment. He quickly put them out. He went to look for his sister-in-law but only to find her in her bedroom in a pool of her own blood.

Chad Heins was wanted for a different crime and was put on the news for this.

The only real evidence they had to arrest him was that he was in the building during and after the murder, otherwise Heins would not have been accused. Chad did not have any blood on his body, no scrapes, and there was no sign of any murder weapons. The victim, Tina Heins, had three hairs lying on her body that did not match to either chad or her own profile.

On January 1997: Chad Heins was sentenced to life in prison after Jury convicted him of first-degree murder and attempted sexual battery. He contacted the innocence Project in New York and to investigate his case. It took three years until Circuit Judge Charles Arnold granted the Innocence Project to retest the DNA in Heins' case. In December 23, 2006, Circuit Judge L. Page Haddock dismissed Heins conviction. The victim had skin cells under her fingernails and matched up to the DNA hairs. After concluding that Heins' was not guilty, the Judge retried Heins to trial but was postponed by Haddock when they found semen stains on Tina Heins' bed to the evidence in her body.

Chad Heins, after being incarcerated for thirteen years after.

Other crimes he was accused of Animal Mistreatment three days after he was freed from his 13 years when he put an injured kitten in a plastic bag and threw it away. It was found by the laundromat worker and only suffered from a broken hip. Heins' said he thought the animal was dead and faced 3 1/2 years in prison. This happened on December 6, 2007.

When Chad got out, he was surrounded by technology and it was just a different world to him. His relationship with his brother changed and was never the same. But he was free at last from a crime he did not commit.


Created By
Myreida Lopez


Created with images by Idol - "Behind bars"

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