County of Conviction: Kern
Convicted of: Discharge of a Firearm at an Occupied Motor Vehicle; Assault with a Firearm;
Sentence: 15 Years to Life
Year of Conviction: 2001
On March 25th, 2001, Rodney Gupton was hanging out with his girlfriend at a barbeque. The next day, Rodney was arrested for shooting a rival gang member named Lonnie Delaney at around the same time Rodney was at the barbeque. Two witnesses allegedly identified Rodney shooting a gun out of the passenger window. Despite a lack of physical evidence and unreliable eyewitness identification from the main witness, Rodney was convicted for the shooting and sentenced 15 years to life.
He told the arresting officers that he did not commit the shooting and has maintained his innocence throughout his sentence. Since the conviction, one of the witnesses has recanted her testimony and identification. She contacted CIP and explained that she actually never saw the shooting. She had lied to the police and court. Therefore, the only remaining evidence is a contaminated eyewitness identification that was inconsistent throughout the investigation and trial.
Based on the prejudice from his gang member status plus the false eyewitness identifications, Rodney Gupton remains in prison paying for a crime he did not commit.