16 Years After Conviction, 7 Years in Prison, Riverside Prosecutor Drops Murder Charges

By Max Kennedy

RIVERSIDE, CA – The Riverside District Attorney’s Office dropped all charges against Kimberly Long this week, ending a decade-long legal battle for the California woman, who was convicted of murder in 2005 for the death of her then-boyfriend and spent seven years in prison.

However, her conviction was overturned by an appellate court years later, and this week the California Supreme Court concurred with that court’s decision.

The California Innocence Project, a legal clinic at California Western School of Law that offers pro-bono representation, represented Long during the appeals process and has maintained her innocence.

According to the court opinion, testimony from an expert witness on the time of death could have been “fatal to the People’s case.” That expert testimony, which estimated that her boyfriend died before Long arrived at the apartment, was not presented to jurors during the original trial.

The Riverside District Attorney’s Office had the option to re-prosecute Long in a new trial, but decided not to move forward, in part due to the length of time since the incident and the deaths of several witnesses.

“I’m so happy I can now put this case behind me and move on with my life,” said Long. “It’s been hanging over my head for so long, but now I am just looking to the future.”

Long now works as a dog groomer, and “has been enjoying her freedom to the best of her ability,” according to media reports and a press release.

“I am grateful to the Riverside District Attorney’s Office for making the decision not to re-prosecute,” said Justin Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project and a Professor of Law at California Western School of Law in San Diego. “Considering the evidence in this case it was the right decision.”

Max Kennedy graduated from Harvard in 2016 with a degree in History. He is an intern with the San Francisco Public Defender and most recently worked as a digital organizer with Joe Biden for President.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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