On Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Deron Parks of Vancouver, Washington, walked out of Clark County jail as a free man after more than seven years battling through the Washington State appeals process. On March 8th, WA Supreme Court made a final ruling that the Clark County effort to reinstate Parks’ July 2017 overturned conviction was denied.
Deron Parks was wrongfully convicted after a jury trial in October of 2010 for crimes he did not commit. Through the appeals process, a number of serious violations were revealed regarding the Clark County case against Parks which led to a new evidentiary hearing. Discoveries about the original trial included questionable testimony revealing bias and faulty investigation by VPD Officer Sandra Aldridge.
Also determined in the COA II ruling was that Deron Parks received ineffective assistance of counsel. The attorney representing Parks in the Clark County case, now Judge Suzan Clark, failed to call multiple key witnesses requested by her client who could have, and later did, provide testimony supporting Parks’ innocence.
Deron Parks’ convictions were overturned based on violations of his 6th Amendment rights. According to court rules, Clark County prosecutors can attempt to retry him on the same charges. Despite the fact that Parks is just two weeks short of completing the original sentence imposed in 2010, Judge John Fairgrieve set a new trial date for July 9th, 2018.
Attorney John Hays from Cowlitz County, WA, who brilliantly led Mr. Parks through the last round of his appeal resulting in the overturned conviction, stood by his client in court today. According to Judge John Fairgrieve’s order, Deron Parks will be released on his own recognizance. He will then have the opportunity to finally reunite with friends and family.
**More to come regarding the wrongful conviction of Deron Parks, his triumphant vindication, and the ongoing pattern and practice of misconduct by Vancouver Police Officer Sandra Aldridge, who is currently under multiple Internal Affairs investigations, and continues to leave a lasting stain on the reputation of Vancouver Police Department.