Meet the Exonerees

Johnathon Adams

State: Georgia
Date of Birth: 1993
Incident Date: 2004
Age at Arrest: 12
Conviction Date: 2005
Age When Exonerated: 14
Exonerated Date: 2006
Time Served: 2
Conviction: Murder
False Confession: Yes
Implicated by Another Youth: No

Case Details

In 2004, twelve-year-old Johnathon Adams was questioned by police in connection to the death of his eight-year-old neighbor, Amy Yates, who had been found strangled near their neighborhood in Carrollton, Georgia. After three hours of questioning without the presence of his parents or a lawyer, Adams falsely confessed to the murder of Yates, though he recanted under his parents’ supervision minutes later. Judge Daniel P. Camp ruled that Adams’ statements could be used against him in trial, citing that Adams had not been threatened by detectives. The judge did write that “the most troubling aspect [was] that the interrogation lasted approximately two hours and forty minutes.” Adams insisted that he asked for his parents several times, only to be refused, and that he was also repeatedly called a “liar.” Adams was held in a juvenile detention center until his conviction in 2005, at which point he was moved to a juvenile rehabilitation facility. He was held there until another suspect in the case voluntarily came forward and confessed to the murder. Adams was exonerated and released in April 2006, almost two years after the murder of Amy Yates.