TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Kate Prince on Nov 10, 2020

Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Steve Dozier has overturned a murder charge against a Nashville man who has been serving a life sentence since 2006, the Tennessean reports. Joseph Webster was convicted of first-degree murder in the beating death of Leroy Owens in 1998. But, Dozier vacated that conviction today after Webster’s attorney, Daniel Horwitz, and the Davidson County District Attorney's Conviction Review Unit found new evidence that was not heard at trial. Much of the new evidence points away from Webster as a suspect, including eyewitness accounts of the assailant that do not match Webster’s description and newly-tested DNA evidence that excludes Webster as a contributor. Dozier ordered Webster’s conviction be vacated and that he be returned to the custody of the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. The DA’s office has already signaled their intent to immediately dismiss the charge against Webster, likely making any stay in DCSO custody short.