JACKSON HOLE, WYO \u2014 Angel, Alexandra, and Andrew are \u2018Combating the Silence\u2019 around wrongful incarceration.\r\n\r\nAs part of a school project, these 7th graders invited Darrell Siggers and Bill Branham to speak in Jackson.\r\n\r\nSiggers was wrongfully incarcerated for 34 years after receiving a life sentence for murder in 1984 in Wayne County, Michigan. He was recently exonerated in 2018.\r\n\r\nBranham is the cofounder of Proving Innocence\u2014an organization dedicated to freeing innocent men and women who are wrongfully convicted and imprisoned.\r\n\r\nHear these inspiring stories at Teton County Library tonight, Monday, May 20, from 6:00-7:30pm.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMore on Siggers (from Mugshots.com)\r\n\r\nDarrell Siggers, 54, has been exonerated of the 1984 murder of Robert Montgomery on Philip Street in Detroit. He was officially cleared of the crime on Friday, October 19, 2018, after Wayne County prosecutors announced they would drop all charges against him. Siggers had been sentenced to life in prison and he spent 34 years behind bars.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSiggers always maintained his innocence and unsuccessfully filed numerous appeals over the years. His situation did not change until his attorney from the State Appellate Defenders Office and other activists began to uncovered information that the Detroit police crime lab technician who presented ballistics evidence tying bullets from the scene to a gun recovered from Siggers\u2019 home wasn\u2019t really a firearms expert. In fact, that technician, Sgt. Claude Houseworth, \u201cwasn\u2019t a crime lab examiner at all\u201d as he testified at Siggers trial.\r\n\r\nSiggers\u2019 legal team was able to show that the bullet evidence was completely discredited by very credible former Michigan State Police bullet experts.David Townshend, a retired Michigan State Trooper with more than 20 years of experience in the Michigan State Police Crime Laboratory Firearms Identification Unit, conducted an independent review and found Houseworth\u2019s conclusions were \u2018erroneous,\u2019 \u2018unbelievable\u2019 and \u2018highly improbable.\u2019 Similarly, David Balash, a retired Michigan State Police firearms examiner, also reviewed the ballistics evidence presented at Siggers\u2019 trial and determined that Houseworth\u2019s testimony was \u201cboth confusing and at times totally inaccurate.\u201d\r\n\r\nFurther testing on the collected ballistics evidence could not be completed because Detroit police destroyed the evidence used against Siggers in 2003. Five years later, the Detroit Police crime lab was shut down after a State Police audit found a high error rate in firearms cases.\r\n\r\nWith the evidence of Siggers\u2019 likely innocence mounting, the Wayne County Prosecutor\u2019s Office Conviction Integrity Office began its own investigation and reviewed the case. Based on its findings, the CIU recommended that Siggers\u2019 conviction be overturned.\r\n\r\nWayne County prosecutors agreed to vacate Siggers\u2019 conviction because the ballistics evidence and witness testimony presented at his trial have since been disputed. Siggers\u2019 case represents the third full exoneration for the Conviction Integrity Unit, and he is the 19th person to be exonerated in Michigan since 2017.\r\n\r\nSiggers is to receive a reported $2 million for his time served behind bars.