Jeff Titus Bio – Jeff Titus Wiki
Jeff Titus of Michigan man who spent more than two decades in prison for the murder of two men in 1990 has been released by an overturned conviction.
Jeff Titus is 71 years old.
DETAIL OF INCIDENCE:
The cleared charge, issued by U.S. Federal District Court Judge Paul D. Borma, came after a true-crime series and podcast both uncovered legal violations in the innocent man’s case. Titus walked free from Lakeland Correctional Facility in Coldwater, Mich. this week.
“It’s been 22 years waiting for this day, and it should’ve never happened in the first place,” he told local station WOOD-TV. “I’m just over [ecstatic] and overjoyed to finally be out, where I can get out and do something. I want to see my grandkids, I haven’t seen them, I want to see them.”
Titus’ freedom is in part thanks to Investigation Discovery’s Killer In Question and Susan Simpson’s podcast Undisclosed, two projects that helped shine a light on the case.
On Nov. 17, 1990, Titus was hunting with a friend over 27 miles away from where hunters Doug Estes and Jim Bennett were shot in the back and murdered. He was initially cleared by the original detectives on the case.
A Cold Case unit opened the case up 10 years later and arrested Titus as a prime suspect in 2001 when prosecutors then argued that he would’ve had enough time to drive to the location of the crime and back. He was convicted in August 2002, having been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Both media projects independently investigating the case discovered that a witness had identified Thomas Dillon as a man who drove his car into a ditch after two shots were fired on the day of the shooting. The presence of Dillon, a convicted serial killer known for shooting outdoorsmen, was not disclosed to those looking into the cold case in Kalamazoo.
Additionally, the podcast and series both also found that a key witness changed her story about Titus multiple times.
“What they did bust everything wide open, and it got me out,” Titus told WOOD-TV, also in reference to the local station’s own 2017 report about his case. “The court system, they’ve changed. I mean, I’m just about speechless.”
Titus’ freedom can also be credited to the Michigan Innocence Clinic, which saw 35 law students working on the case with attorney David Moran. The clinic, along with the Michigan Conviction Integrity Unit and the Michigan Department of Attorney General, all submitted a joint filing requesting his conviction be set aside, per Deadline.
As he left the jail, Titus was greeted by several supporters, including his attorneys and others related to investigating his conviction.
Jason Sarlanis, president of Turner Networks, ID and HLN, Linear & Streaming, said in a statement to Deadline that the case was the “perfect example” of how true crime coverage “can right injustices in the world and allow for actual impact on our justice system.