Exonerated man files federal wrongful conviction lawsuit

April 10, 2017 from WECT

A man who was released from prison in August 2016 after spending nearly three decades behind bars in a 1988 murder in Wilmington has filed a federal wrongful conviction lawsuit against the officers who investigated the case and the City of Wilmington.

Johnny Small was just 15 years old when he was charged with first-degree murder in the July 13, 1988, killing of Pamela Dreher, 32. Dreher was found shot in the head inside her Wilmington fish store with $175 missing from the cash register. Small was arrested more than three months later after a teenage acquaintance said she saw him in the area of the murder.

Following a week-long hearing in August initiated by his childhood friend, David Bollinger, recanting his trial testimony, a judge found it “more than abundantly clear” Small did not receive a fair trial. Three weeks after the hearing, District Attorney Ben David dismissed the charges against Small.

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