Meet the Exonerees

Colin Warner

State: New York
Date of Birth:
Incident Date: 10-Apr-80
Age at Arrest: 18
Conviction Date: 17-Jun-82
Age When Exonerated: 39
Exonerated Date: 31-Jan-01
Time Served: 19
Conviction: Murder in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree
False Confession: No
Implicated by Another Youth: Yes

Case Details

As an 18-year-old, Colin Warner was arrested for the second-degree murder of Mario Hamilton, and was positively identified as one of the two killers by the victim’s brother, Martell Hamilton, who was 14 at the time. Martell even knew that he was “putting a nail in this man’s coffin when I knew I hadn’t seen him before”; he implicated Warner in the crime so the detective would “stop pressuring” him. Hamilton lived with this guilt for years, and, when contacted by Warner’s attorney years after the conviction, came clean. Additional witnesses, including Norman Simmonds, Warner’s co-defendant and the true killer, finally claimed that Simmonds acted alone and that Warner was not involved. On January 31, 2001, the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn vacated Warner’s conviction after the recanted testimonies. After 19 long years of incarceration, Warner was able to return to his life.