By Mariah Timms . . . A Nashville judge has overturned the convictions of two Nashvillians convicted in the late 1980s death of a child.
They were innocent, she said.
Davidson County Criminal Court Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton on Thursday morning filed an order vacating the murder and child rape convictions against Joyce Watkins and Charles Dunn.
“In short, the evidence in this case supports the claim that Joyce Watkins and Charlie Dunn are innocent and were convicted of crimes they did not commit,” Dalton wrote.
The pair were convicted in the brutal rape and murder of a young child, a relative of Watkins. They received lengthy prison sentences.
Dunn died in custody years later.
Last year, a new investigation by the Tennessee Innocence Project concurrent with a report on the case from the District Attorney’s Conviction Review Unit brought the case back to court with claims of the actual innocence of Watkins and Dunn.