Bradenton resident Derrick Williams shares his story after a DNA test frees him from prison.


SARASOTA COUNTY – A Suncoast man shares a powerful testimony after a DNA test proved his innocence after serving 18 years in prison.

Back in 1992 Derrick Williams was arrested and convicted for sexual battery, kidnapping and a few other charges against a woman.

He did time between Tomoka and Hardee Correctional Institutes in Florida.

Innocence Project of Florida a nonprofit to assist innocent prisoners, helped exonerate Williams, and he became a free man in 2011.

Williams and a representative from Innocence Project of Florida answered questions about his experience from residents Tuesday at the North Sarasota Library.

He says the state gave him no compensation after his release while losing time from his wife and kids.

Due to Williams’ previous felony conviction he was not eligible for compensation.

He also says his faith in God kept him going.

“And just holding on that’s all I had.  When you’re at the bottom. What else you got when there is nothing else to grasp.”

Innocence Project of Florida says Williams is the 13th person in Florida to be exonerated.


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