Burkhart exonerated in murder case - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Burkhart exonerated in murder case

Posted: Updated:

MISSOULA- The Montana Innocence Project announced its third exoneration in the last 15 months. A new court order dismisses the homicide charge against Richard Burkhart.

In 2001, Burkhart was arrested after the death of William Ledeau, whose body was found on a street in Great Falls in 2001, bludgeoned with a ball-peen hammer. Burkhart and a friend had approached police the same night to report that Burkhart’s car had been broken into. At trial, prosecutors claimed Burkhart killed Ledeau for breaking into his car. A jury found Burkhart guilty in 2002, and he’s been in prison ever since.

In 2014, the Montana Innocence Project filed for relief on Burkhart’s behalf after discovering that the sole eyewitness in the case recanted his trial testimony. MTIP also says another suspect had confessed that he'd killed Ledeau, but his confession was not disclosed to Burkhart’s defense.

"I know if I had all this evidence the first time I was at trial then without a question I would have never been found guilty," Burkhart wrote when petitioning for his sentence to be overturned.

In November 2016, a judge vacated Burkhart’s conviction and ordered a new trial. By late 2017, another judge decided that the evidence didn’t support having a new trial for Burkhart.

“I have been waiting for this moment for many, many years,” Burkhart said in a press release from MTIP. “I am grateful for the amazing and dedicated work of the Montana Innocence Project. All of their lawyers and volunteers worked so hard on my case. I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life as a free man.”   

Judge John Kutzman signed the order dismissing charges against Burkhart on Dec. 29.

Burkhart joins Richard Raugust (Oct. 2016) and Cody Marble (Jan. 2017) in recent successful MTIP exonerations.

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Missing person reported in Flathead County

    Missing person reported in Flathead County

    Friday, July 20 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-07-20 13:33:44 GMT
    Friday, July 20 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-07-20 13:33:44 GMT

    Sheriff Chuck Curry says Alex Ruth Beltran was last seen driving her 1998 Light Green Toyota Rav 4, with Montana plate 785019A.

    Sheriff Chuck Curry says Alex Ruth Beltran was last seen driving her 1998 Light Green Toyota Rav 4, with Montana plate 785019A.

  • Finally, indisputable proof: Bigfoot spotted in northern California

    Finally, indisputable proof: Bigfoot spotted in northern California

    Friday, January 9 2015 6:52 PM EST2015-01-09 23:52:03 GMT
    Saturday, January 10 2015 4:33 PM EST2015-01-10 21:33:06 GMT
    ROSEVILLE, Cali.- There is new, indisputable proof that Bigfoot exists, and has been spending most of his time in northern California. The footage was sent to a Paranormal group by a photographer/videographer who specializes in aerial videography using a quadcopter. A quadcopter is a drone that is lifted and propelled by 4 rotors.
    ROSEVILLE, Cali.- There is new, indisputable proof that Bigfoot exists, and has been spending most of his time in northern California. The footage was sent to a Paranormal group by a photographer/videographer who specializes in aerial videography using a quadcopter. A quadcopter is a drone that is lifted and propelled by 4 rotors.
  • Special Olympian speaks out after baseball bat attack

    Special Olympian speaks out after baseball bat attack

    Thursday, July 19 2018 7:42 PM EDT2018-07-19 23:42:37 GMT

    The Special Olympian who was severely injured by after an assault  in June is talking about his recovery.

    The Special Olympian who was severely injured by after an assault  in June is talking about his recovery.

  • Flushing acid down the toilet: lab cleanup forces US 287 shutdown and town evacuation

    Flushing acid down the toilet: lab cleanup forces US 287 shutdown and town evacuation

    Friday, July 20 2018 1:08 AM EDT2018-07-20 05:08:06 GMT
    Missoula County Explosives Ordinance Disposal Team preparing for action. July 17, 2018. Photo credit: EPAMissoula County Explosives Ordinance Disposal Team preparing for action. July 17, 2018. Photo credit: EPA

    Some of the chemicals at the lab in Norris were so volatile that the risk of transporting them was too great, and experts decided to do a controlled detonation at the site of the lab.

    Some of the chemicals at the lab in Norris were so volatile that the risk of transporting them was too great, and experts decided to do a controlled detonation at the site of the lab.

  • Police say Jermain Charlo disappearance could be kidnapping

    Police say Jermain Charlo disappearance could be kidnapping

    Tuesday, July 17 2018 1:58 PM EDT2018-07-17 17:58:15 GMT

    MISSOULA - Police released new information and new photos showing what Jermain Charlo was wearing before she disappeared on June 16 in Missoula. Det. Guy A. Baker said Tuesday that police are still searching for the woman, who was last seen near downtown Missoula late that Saturday night. 

    MISSOULA - Police released new information and new photos showing what Jermain Charlo was wearing before she disappeared on June 16 in Missoula. Det. Guy A. Baker said Tuesday that police are still searching for the woman, who was last seen near downtown Missoula late that Saturday night. 

Powered by Frankly
Copyright - All content © 2001 - 2018. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.