Thomas Kennedy and Audrey Edmunds both lost years of their lives, sitting behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit. They were everyday people whose lives changed in an instant and in ways they never could have expected.
Thomas Kennedy was a single dad, living a humble life in Washington State, trying to rebuild a relationship with his daughters, until one of them falsely accused him of an unthinkable crime. Thomas was sentenced to 15 years in prison for raping his own daughter – a crime he did not commit.
“It was the worst moment of my life.” -Thomas Kennedy
@katieshow wow I can’t imagine lying about something like that
— Christina Stodgel (@Stodgel_Wife) December 10, 2012
Casandra Kennedy was just 11-years-old when she concocted a story about rape that never happened. After nine years, she finally came forward to tell the truth and set her father free.
“I was just angry and upset ’cause I felt like he wasn’t around enough.” -Casandra Kennedy
@katieshow Wow i don’t think i would be able to forgive my daughter, i would love her but would have to let her go.
— Q’s Life(@Elite_Q) December 10, 2012
Thomas’s other daughter, Marlena, was only 13-years-old when he was found guilty of raping Casandra. Now 24, Marlena spent nine years without her father, convinced he was innocent the entire time.
“I couldn’t see my dad doing that. I knew he wasn’t capable of that.” -Marlena Kennedy
@katieshow Incredible forgiveness Thomas Kennedy has a huge heart. i like that the accuser understands her sib is not 100% ready to forgive
— sookietex (@sookietex) December 10, 2012
Like Thomas Kennedy, Audrey Edmunds also found herself living a nightmare, sitting behind bars for a crime she didn’t commit. She was a pregnant Wisconsin mom with no criminal record when she was suddenly accused of murdering an infant she was caring for.
“Suddenly they were saying a terrible nightmare had occurred and they were blaming me.” -Audrey Edmunds
@katieshow what an excellent show..it bothers me to think how many ppl are doing time for crimes not committed. More & more stories in news
— Tanya Beaudry (@tanyajb2002) December 10, 2012
Audrey didn’t just lose her freedom in prison, she lost her family. She served 11 years of an 18 year sentence, losing contact with her three daughters and divorcing her husband while in prison.
“I knew in my heart what was true… I could not admit to their medical inaccuracies.” -Audrey Edmunds
@katiecouric This woman should stand proud and her children should stand with her. There is nothing like the truth.
— Veronica Guidry (@VeronicaGuidry) December 10, 2012
The prosecution claimed Audrey shook seven-month-old Natalie Beard so violently that it caused her death. But with the help of Keith Findley, the Wisconsin Innocence Project attorney, and new medical evidence, Audrey was finally set free.
“There was really nothing to suggest this had to be shaking.” -Keith Findley
@katieshow so heartbreaking for all families in these cases and terrifying that one can be so easily be falsely convicted!
— Summer Johnson (@Summertime79) December 10, 2012