After spending eight months in prison for crimes he did not commit, Lanell Dowling was released with all charges dropped.
Dowling’s ordeal began last April, when he was identified, based on a police sketch created by the victims of four robberies at gunpoint, as the man who committed the crimes and arrested. A ‘tipster’ who had seen the police sketch informed the police of Dowling’s whereabouts, usually hanging out on Church Avenue in Kensington, where he was known by the nickname “Country.”
Jay Schwitzman, Dowling’s lawyer, who finally was able to recover his cell-phone records which proved Dowling was not at the scene of any of the crimes, said that Dowling had also passed a lie detector test, and added that there was no other evidence that Dowling had committed any of the robberies.
"It really shows how [witness] identification in general is a very dangerous process because people often misidentify," Schwitzman said.