Sister’s Legal Work frees Brother from Prison

Table of Contents An article published in the Los Angeles Times printed March 16, 2001, details an account of a convicted rapist, who was innocent. His sister put herself through law school to work on her brother’s case. Waters was sentenced to life in prison in 1983, however, after serving 20 years in prison for murder in the first degree, his sister demanded that the court take a look a the evidence inside a box in the courthouse house basement. She enlisted in the help of “Innocence Project.” The DNA from the knife used during the murder was tested, and did not contain Waters DNA.

Karamsad “CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A man who spent 20 years in prison for murder was released Thursday because of DNA evidence obtained by his sister, a former college dropout who put herself through law school in hopes of someday clearing her brother’s name. Judge Vieri Volterra freed Kenneth Waters, 47, pending a possible retrial, after the genetic evidence cast doubt on his guilt.

Waters praised the efforts of his sister Betty Ann.

“I think it’s absolutely amazing that she’s dedicated her life to this,” he said. ” . . . My whole family suffered unbelievably.”

Waters was convicted of beating and stabbing to death Katharina Brow during a robbery in 1980. His lawyer at the time argued Waters was in court on the morning of the slaying to face a charge of assaulting a police officer, but authorities were unable to verify the alibi. Waters was sentenced to life in prison in 1983.

Betty Ann Waters, 46, of Middletown, R.I., went back to school, earning a bachelor’s degree and a master’s from Rhode Island College and attending law school at Roger Williams University in Bristol, R.I.

The breakthrough came when she hounded the clerk at the courthouse and learned that a box of evidence with her brother’s name on it was in the basement. The box contained the knife used in the slaying and pieces of cloth with blood on them.

She enlisted the help of the Innocence Project, a group that helps inmates challenge convictions with DNA evidence. The material was tested, and the district attorney’s office announced Tuesday that the DNA she found did not match her brother’s.

“She did re-investigation. She got recantation from the witnesses. She came to us with a strong case,” said defense attorney Barry Scheck, who heads the Innocence Project” (

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