NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A Connecticut judge has dismissed murder and rape charges against a man who spent two decades in prison before DNA testing showed he could not have committed the crimes.
Kenneth Ireland, of Wallingford, appeared in New Haven Superior Court on Wednesday. He had been released from prison Aug. 5 when Judge Richard Damiani granted him a new trial.
Ireland was 20 years old when he was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the 1986 rape and murder of Barbara Pelkey, a mother of four. Her nude body was found at the Wallingford manufacturing plant where she worked alone at night.
Prosecutors say they have reopened the investigation into her death.
Ireland was helped by the Connecticut Innocence Project, which helped to free two other men since 2006.