Modified: December 6, 2017 4:12pm
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that in the interest of justice, he has consented to an order vacating the murder conviction and dismissing the indictment against 46-year-old Cory Epps.
DA Flynn says because of newly-discovered evidence, there is no longer proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Epps committed the crime.
On June 10, 1998, Epps was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the murder of 23-year-old Tomika Means, after a jury returned a guilty verdict.
Means was shot to death on May 26, 1997, while she was behind the wheel of a car at East Delavan and Chelsea in the City of Buffalo.
Earlier this year, a witness came forward with information that someone else is responsible for the murder. After a hearing on November 30, 2017, DA Flynn consented to exonerate Epps.
“After reviewing this case, it became clear to me that Mr. Epps should not spend one more night in prison, “ says DA Flynn. “This Office is committed to not only convicting the guilty, but protecting the innocent.”
The person of interest in the murder is currently serving a 22 years to life prison sentence for another murder, and the DA has not yet determined whether charges will be filed in this case.
Epps, who had been jailed since 1997, served more than 20 years in prison before being freed today.
DA Flynn commends Chief Donna A. Milling and Assistant District Attorney David A. Heraty of the DA’s Appeals Bureau who handled the motion to vacate the conviction and praises the outstanding investigative work of Chief Joseph Riga and Anthony Costantino, the DA’s Confidential Criminal Investigators.