Free! Innocent Valley Man Released From Prison - New York News

Free! Innocent Valley Man Released From Prison

Posted: Updated:

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A San Fernando Valley man imprisoned for more than 13 years for a crime he denies committing was ordered released today by a federal judge while appeals are pending.

Daniel Larsen, 45, was convicted in 1999 of carrying a concealed knife and was sent to prison as a three-striker. But officials with the California Innocence Project found witnesses who said they saw a different man throwing away the knife in question.

Following the ruling by U.S. Magistrate Suzanne H. Segal, Larsen was processed out of custody and released to the wife he met and married last year while he was behind bars in the state prison in Lancaster serving a 27 years-to-life sentence.

Moments after ordering Larsen released "forthwith ... subject to supervision," the judge reminded the onetime member of the white supremacist Nazi Low Riders gang that "you're being given a rare opportunity -- and I hope you use this opportunity well."

Larsen, sunburnt and sporting a white bushy moustache, rushed away from the downtown courthouse without commenting.

"He's not the kid he was when he went to prison," said his attorney, Jan Stiglitz, co-director of the Innocence Project. "He's a serious, mature guy now."

Larsen was convicted in 1999 of carrying a concealed knife -- a third strike for the convicted burglar. Insisting he was innocent, the Innocence Project took up his case and found witnesses -- including a former police chief -- who said they saw another man throw away the knife.

In 2010, a federal judge overturned the conviction and said Larsen's constitutional rights had been violated because his original attorney was incompetent. Despite that ruling, Larsen still wasn't released.

California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris appealed the federal judge's decision based on the technicality that Larsen's current lawyers missed a deadline for filing papers.

The Innocence Project filed an appeal under habeas corpus that eventually reached the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found Larsen to be "actually innocent,' a legal term that allows him to be released from prison while his case works its way through the courts.

The appeals court ordered the lower court to set conditions for Larsen's release.

"Does innocence trump procedural delay" is how Stiglitz summed up the legal question before the circuit court.

In setting conditions for Larsen's release, Segal ordered an appearance bond of $52,500, which was guaranteed by Larsen's wife, Christina, and two other women.

The magistrate judge also ordered Larsen to actively seek employment and have no contact with members of the Nazi Low Riders.

Larsen entered the courtroom an hour earlier in handcuffs and an orange state prison jumpsuit, surrounded by deputies, and walked out in an open-necked shirt and slacks.

Stiglitz said he would try and meet with county prosecutors as early as next week to attempt to resolve the case.

But, the attorney said, the answer to when Larsen might know if he is to remain free is up in the air.

"It could be months, it could be a year," Stiglitz said.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • FAA extends ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv

    FAA extends ban on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 1:17 PM EDT2014-07-23 17:17:17 GMT
    The Federal Aviation Administration has extended the ban on U.S. carriers from flying to Tel Aviv for another 24 hours. Word came from the FAA at about 12:40 pm. on Wednesday, 24 hours after it issued its initial ban to Israel and following a rocket launch from Gaza that landed near the Ben Gurion airport.
    The Federal Aviation Administration has extended the ban on U.S. carriers from flying to Tel Aviv for another 24 hours. Word came from the FAA at about 12:40 pm. on Wednesday, 24 hours after it issued its initial ban to Israel and following a rocket launch from Gaza that landed near the Ben Gurion airport.
  • NBA's Felton pleads guilty in gun case

    NBA's Felton pleads guilty in gun case

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:15 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:15:05 GMT
    Former NY Knicks point guard Raymond Felton pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Manhattan gun case, taking a plea deal that involved admitting a felony but spares him jail. Last winter, after Felton's law student wife filed for divorce, her attorney brought a loaded semi-automatic handgun to a police precinct and said it was Felton's and she wanted it out of the house, authorities said.  Felton's attorney said he never threatened anyone with the gun.
    Former NY Knicks point guard Raymond Felton pleaded guilty Wednesday in a Manhattan gun case, taking a plea deal that involved admitting a felony but spares him jail. Last winter, after Felton's law student wife filed for divorce, her attorney brought a loaded semi-automatic handgun to a police precinct and said it was Felton's and she wanted it out of the house, authorities said. Felton's attorney said he never threatened anyone with the gun.
  • Fortune 500 firm Sealed Air moving HQ to Charlotte

    Fortune 500 firm Sealed Air moving HQ to Charlotte

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:01 PM EDT2014-07-23 16:01:51 GMT
    North Carolina has convinced Fortune 500 packaging company Sealed Air Corp. to move nearly 1,300 jobs to the Charlotte area by relocating its New Jersey headquarters and consolidating management operations from...
    North Carolina has convinced Fortune 500 packaging company Sealed Air Corp. to move nearly 1,300 jobs to the Charlotte area by relocating its New Jersey headquarters and consolidating management operations from several...
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices