NLSLA board member and renowned appellate lawyer Jeff Ehrlich has secured freedom for an innocent man wrongly convicted of a 2000 murder in the Antelope Valley. Ehrlich first heard about Raymond Lee Jennings–who was convicted of killing an 18-year-old woman–after his son, Clint Ehrlich, saw a news program about the case.
“He started doing more research and became convinced there wasn’t a basis to convict him,” Ehrlich said. There was no evidence linking Jennings, an Iraq veteran, to the crime committed in the Palmdale parking lot where he worked as a security guard. But he was convicted in a third trial, after the first two juries deadlocked.
At Clint’s urging, Ehrlich took on the case pro bono. Together, they dug into the files. “We figured out that there was a wealth of information that was already there but that they never looked at,” Ehrlich said. “No one had ever put the case under any critical scrutiny.”
Their findings included information on other people who were in the parking lot at the time of the shooting, including someone with a criminal record that would have made him a prime suspect had the DA’s office run a background check. Jennings was released June 23, and the DA’s office is reopening the investigation into the murder. “The case against him was utterly without any merit,” Ehrlich said.