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 barbecue. The next day, Gupton was arrested for shooting a rival gang member named Lonnie Delaney at around the same time Gupton was at the barbecue. Two witnesses allegedly identified Gupton shooting a gun out of the passenger window. Despite a lack of physical evidence and unreliable eyewitness identification from the main witness, Gupton was convicted of the shooting and sentenced to 15-years-to-life.
At the time of his arrest, Gupton told the arresting officers that he did not commit the shooting and maintained his innocence throughout his sentence. Since the conviction, one of the witnesses recanted her testimony and identification. She contacted CIP and explained that she actually never saw the shooting. She lied to the police and court. The only remaining evidence was a contaminated eyewitness identification that was inconsistent throughout the investigation and trial.
In June of 2001, Rodney Gupton was convicted of a crime he did not commit.
On May 22, 2017, the Honorable Steven M. Katz of the Kern County Superior Court reversed Gupton’s conviction, finding it more likely than not that had the false testimony of the lying witness not been presented, Gupton would not have been convicted in the first place.