A Year of Freedom for Tyler Edmonds

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

A local Mississippi newspaper describes the post-prison life of Tyler Edmonds, who was acquitted last year of killing his sister’s husband. Edmonds was 13 at the time of the murder, 15 when he was tried and convicted the first time. He was sentenced to life without parole. In 2007, his conviction was tossed out by the Mississippi Supreme Court, in part due to unscientific testimony from controversial medical examiner Steven Hayne.

Edmonds was tried again last year without Hayne’s objectionable testimony, and was acquitted.

One year after he heard a jury say, “Not guilty,” Edmonds has made a new life for himself.

He’s traveled.

He’s working and training to become an emergency medical tech.

And he’s moved with his dog, Bud, to his own place in Columbus.

Now, his biggest worry isn’t life without parole, it’s his Dec. 11 final exams at East Mississippi Community College and passing the national EMT certification…

This date last year, jury selection got under way in Oktibbeha County as Edmonds sat accused of helping his half-sister, Kristi, kill her husband.

Five days later, he heard the words that set him free.

It was almost surreal, he recalled, truly being out from under the total control of someone else.

“I really just didn’t know what to do,” he remembered. “Now, I have my life back.

“Now, I have direction and something to be proud of.”

As the weeks and months passed, Edmonds said he began to consider his future and knew more education was important.

Now that he’s completing his EMT training, he said he thinks he may undertake two years more to become a paramedic.

Via the NMissCommentor.

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24 Responses to “A Year of Freedom for Tyler Edmonds”

  1. #1 |  Aresen | 

    I am glad for Tyler.

    I wish Haynes had to spend time in prison equal to the time served by all the people falsely convicted on his “evidence”. (I realize continental drift might move the prison to another state while Haynes was serving the required time.)

  2. #2 |  Marty | 

    hopefully, when Hayne needs an ambulance, Tyler’s on the call…

  3. #3 |  Nando | 

    IANAL, but how is trying someone for the same crime twice not double jeopardy?

  4. #4 |  hamburglar007 | 

    Nando, from what I understand the conviction from the first trial was thrown out, but was not an acquittal.

  5. #5 |  David | 

    The idea is that he was never legitimately tried at all. They can’t go back in time and tell the jury to disregard Hayne’s testimony, so they hold a new trial that doesn’t include it.

  6. #6 |  SusanK | 

    If you are tried once for a crime and the appeals court throws out the conviction for whatever irregularity occurred in the trial court, they will also look at the conviction to see if there was “sufficient evidence” to sustain a conviction. If they find that there was, the case is remanded for a new trial. If they find there wasn’t, then jeopardy attached and you can’t be retried. It’s a joke.

  7. #7 |  David | 

    I’m impressed that Edmonds is building himself a life, and letting this go. If I were in his shoes, my all consuming obsession would be revenge on Steven Hayne, a man who’d was willing to ruin my life for a paycheck.

  8. #8 |  Michael Chaney | 

    I don’t suppose anybody ever bothered to find the real killer?

  9. #9 |  de stijl | 

    I don’t suppose anybody ever bothered to find the real killer?

    OJ Simpson would be looking into this, but he’s otherwise occupied currently.

  10. #10 |  Alex Knapp | 


    This is a life that you made better through your tireless efforts to discredit Dr. Hayne and for that, I salute you, sir.

  11. #11 |  Marty | 

    #10- I could only give you one thumbs up, but in this case each thumb is worth 50…

  12. #12 |  Aresen | 

    What Marty said.

    +1000 for Radley.

  13. #13 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

    He will most likely still have trouble getting a license.

  14. #14 |  The Penal System | 

    Win some, lose some. We’ll get him next time.

  15. #15 |  Michael Chaney | 

    I could only give you one thumbs up…

    See, livepodium *did* have its uses!

    *duck & run

  16. #16 |  fwb | 

    An how much in punitive damages has the state been forced to pay to this young man for screwing him over????

    Yeah, right!!

    The prosecutor, judge, and EVERYONE else involved should have to pay him for his loss.

    Tiocfaidh ar la!

  17. #17 |  supercat | 

    Nando: Double-jeopardy would only apply if the person were ever out of jeopardy. Someone who is convicted at his first trial but wins a remand on appeal will remain continuously in jeopardy unless or until he is acquitted on the second trial. I don’t see any double-jeopardy issues at all with that.

    More interesting cases arise in situations where in a single trial someone is found guilty of certain charges but not others. In some cases, it’s possible for the state to require that if the person wins a retrial for the charges on which he was convicted, he must also stand trial for others of which he was not. I think judges sometimes let the state go further than is really legitimate here, but there are some cases where such a thing makes sense. For example, if someone is tried and convicted for murder but the conviction is thrown out, they could be retried for manslaughter on the premise that the murder conviction was the only thing precluding the manslaughter conviction.

  18. #18 |  Steve Clay | 

    This is an outrage! Fu… Oh, wow, faith in humanity being restored. Am I on the right blog?

  19. #19 |  Frank | 

    #13 Nope. He was acquitted. That’s the same as having never been arrested or charged. They can’t deny his EMT certification, or his paramedic once he passes the course.

  20. #20 |  Sky | 

    Thanks Radley…

    I just wish there was enough on Hayne to build the guillotine he so richly deserves.

  21. #21 |  KBCraig | 

    I can only imagine the interesting job application process after this. In this day of computerized job screening, where keywords and checklists reject applicants before human eyes ever see the applications, some trickeration is probably required.

  22. #22 |  JS | 

    Brilliant work Radley! What you do is so much more important than most people will ever realize.

  23. #23 |  ParatrooperJJ | 

    Actually they can, most states have moral turpitude requirements for health care providers, it usually does not require a conviction.

  24. #24 |  Aresen | 

    @ ParatrooperJJ | October 28th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Unfortunately, I think you’re right. I’m sure that the Great State of Mississippi will find some excuse.

    If nothing else, somebody will do a sloppy internet search and see that he was charged with murder and ignore the acquittal.