LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- After spending 32 years in prison following a wrongful conviction in Nevada, a woman has been granted a Certificate of Innocence and awarded more than $2.8 million.
Attorney General Aaron Ford on Monday announced the certificate and cash award for Cathy Woods, also known as Anita Carter. In 1981, Woods was twice convicted for the murder of Michelle Mitchell near the University of Nevada, Reno in February 1976.
In 2014, the National DNA Database notified the Washoe County Crime Lab that a cigarette found near the crime scene that matched Rodney Halbower, an Oregon prisoner who was imprisoned for attempted murder and other violent crimes against women. Based upon the new DNA evidence and a stipulation of the parties, the charges against Ms. Woods were dismissed and she was released in 2014.
Per Nevada Assembly Bill 267, which passed in 2019, Woods was entitled to compensation for her wrongful incarceration.