Meet the Exonerees

Eric Proctor

State: Oregon
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 07-Jun-83
Age at Arrest: 18
Conviction Date: 1986
Age When Exonerated: 29
Exonerated Date: 1994
Time Served: 8
Conviction: murder
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

On June 7, 1983, eighteen-year-old Eric Proctor, and nineteen-year-old Chris Boots, stopped at a convenience store in Springfield, Oregon. Finding no clerk in the store, they left. They were arrested several weeks later, but released after Lane County District Attorney J. Pat Horton concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to pursue indictments. In January of 1984, Boots filed a notice of intention to sue the city of Springfield for false arrest. In 1986, attorney Douglass Harcleroad reopened the case and obtained indictments against Boots and Proctor based on statements that jail inmates claimed the two had made while in custody. At separate trials in 1986 and in 1987, Boots and Proctor were convicted by juries and sentenced to life in prison, based largely on junk scientific evidence describing "high velocity blood splatters." In 1994, an unnamed informant told police that the crime had not been committed by Boots and Proctor, but by a man named Ricky Kuppens. DNA testing and a taped confession by Kuppens further proved that Kuppens was the true perpetrator. Boots and Proctor were released from custody. In 1998, the two men were granted a $2 million settlement in compensation for the wrongful conviction.