Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office speaks out after man exonerated of murder
ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office is speaking out about a mentally disabled man who spent 16 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
Andrew Royer was officially exonerated of a 2002 murder. Documents say Royer was interrogated for two days before he confessed to killing 94-year-old Helen Sailor in her downtown apartment.
Years later, the court found that Elkhart Detective Carl Conway disregarded Royer’s mental disability and fed him details of Sailor’s murder during the interview. That officer is now in administrative leave, pending an investigation.
Attorneys want the prosecutor’s office to apologize to Royer because the system let him down.
The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office responded with this statement below:
Mr. Royer’s original conviction was reversed at the post-conviction stage, and when it was returned to the trial level, I decided not to pursue further prosecution (at this time) without additional investigation. Accordingly, on June 30, 2021, I moved to dismiss the pending action without prejudice (which means I can refile in the future). That Motion was apparently granted earlier this week by the Special Judge. Mr. Royer is “innocent” until proven guilty, so, accordingly, Mr. Royer is “innocent” under the law at this time. An apology would not be appropriate given the facts and circumstances of this case. Nor is my personal opinion relevant in any way.
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