Rodney Lincoln’s sentence commuted after three decades in prison

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – On his last day as governor, Eric Greitens commuted sentences and issued pardons in what he said is the ability to make wrong things right.

Our news cameras were there when Rodney Lincoln was released from prison after spending more than three decades behind bars for a crime he said he did not commit.

Lincoln, 73, said he received a personal phone call from Greitens on Friday morning with the news. DNA evidence and eyewitness testimony were used to convict Lincoln back in the 1980s, but it was discovered years later the DNA evidence was wrong and the eyewitness, who was a child at the time, recanted her testimony as an adult.

Lincoln has been in prison for the murder of JoAnne Tate and for attacking her two daughters with a knife. Melissa DeBoer, the victim’s daughter, recanted her testimony after watching an episode of “Crime Watch Daily “that featured the case. It suggested that serial killer Tommy Lynn Sells might have been the suspect. After watching the show, she said she had flashbacks and realized he was, in fact, the man who killed her mother.

DeBoer said, as a child, she felt a great responsibility to catch the bad man who killed her mother. She said she wanted to please detectives in the case and as a child, she felt manipulated to say the killer was Lincoln.

Tricia Bushnell, the executive director of the Midwest Innocence Project, released a statement Friday, saying, in part:

“Mr. Lincoln walks out of prison a free and innocent man, whether the courts recognize it or not. This is a big step toward justice, but until his conviction is overturned, justice is yet again denied.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News