HONOLULU – DeWayne McKinney, who became a successful businessman in Hawaii after serving close to 20 years in a California prison for a murder he didn't commit, died Tuesday of injuries he received in a traffic accident.
McKinney, 47, wasn't wearing a helmet when the mo-ped he was operating drifted off Waialae Avenue about 12:38 a.m. and hit a bus stop sign and utility pole, Honolulu police said.
McKinney was thrown from the motor scooter onto the street. He was taken to The Queen's Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said speed may have been a factor in the crash, but not alcohol.
McKinney was convicted of the 1980 Orange County, Calif., killing of Burger King manager Walter Horace Bell Jr. after four employees identified him in court as the gunman.
McKinney was cleared of the crime in 2000 after another man, Willie Charles Walker, confessed his role in the crime. Walker admitted to driving the getaway car and identified Raymond Herman Jackett III as the shooter. Two of the Burger King employees also recanted their testimony.
Once freed from prison, McKinney had to start his life anew from scratch.
He used a $1 million settlement with the Orange Police Department and $1.7 million settlement from the state of California to start an ATM business in Hawaii.
McKinney's business grew to 42 ATMs on three islands and he had a network of more than $6 million, Carl Stein, who owned a company that processed transactions for McKinney, told the Los Angeles Times.