Philly man sentenced to life for 1991 murder is now free: 'We got it right this time'

Andrew Kramer
July 15, 2019 - 9:20 pm

Andrew Kramer/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — After spending the last few decades in prison, a Philadelphia man convicted of murder in 1991 is now free. 

A jury found Chester Hollman guilty of murdering a University of Pennsylvania student not far from Rittenhouse Square and he was sentenced to life in prison.

"What happened with Mr. Hollman was justice that finally came after almost 28 years," said Patricia Cummings with the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

Cummings said a judge ordered a new trial for Hollman.

"His lawyer asked the conviction integrity unit to look at his case well over a year ago and we have been looking at it, investigating it and reviewing it since that time," she explained. 

She heads that unit and blames what she called a "flawed" criminal justice system in the late 80s and early 90s for Hollman's lengthy stay behind bars.

"It was pretty clear to us that, unfortunately, the police department and the district attorney's office actually had evidence in their possession, back at the time of trial, had they disclosed it to the defense, Mr. Hollman might not have ever stood trial," she said. 

But she's confident they got it right this time. 

Charges against Hollman are expected to be dropped later this month.