McDOWELL COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Fourteen years ago, a McDowell County man was convicted of first degree murder and arson, but he didn’t do it.
Charles Jason Lively was exonerated last week thanks to the West Virginia Innocence Project Law Clinic at WVU.
He was originally sentenced to spend his life behind bars in 2006 and spent much of his time at Mount Olive Correctional Center in solitary confinement. Today, he’s a free man with big plans for the future.
“While he was in prison, he reconnected with a person that he went to high school with, so he and his now fiancé are going to live in North Carolina,” said program director Melissa Giggenbach. “He’s an accomplished writer. He wrote a book called Circumstantial Evidence while he was in prison and I believe he’s going to write a follow-up to that.”
The Innocence Project only represents those completely innocent of the crimes they were convicted of. Inmates can apply on their website or request an application by mail to P.O. Box 6130 Morgantown, WV 26506.