Twenty-four years ago David Wiggins was convicted on rape charges in Tarrant County, Texas. Wiggins has maintained he’s innocent of the crime. Finally, he’s been released based on DNA evidence that proves his innocence.
The original conviction in the 1989 rape case had been based mostly on the victim’s identification. Tarrant County District Attorney’s office agreed to reopen the files on his case and give the case a second chance at investigation. At the time the trial originally went to trial, Wiggins had petitioned for a DNA test, but had been rejected. DNA testing, at that time, was new to the criminal cases. The tests had been inconclusive, but Wiggins never gave up trying to regain his freedom.
When the District Attorney’s office agreed for a second look, the testing was re-introduced and the results found that Wiggins was most definitely not the source of sperm found on the defendant’s clothing at the time of the attack.
David Lee Wiggins was 24-years-old when the attack occurred. He had been given a life sentence for raping a 14-year-old girl at knife point.
While he was in prison, he met a woman who was the mother of a fellow inmate. The woman’s son knew his mother was attending school to be a legal assistant and thought maybe some of her knowledge of the system would be of some help to Wiggins.
She ended up marrying Wiggins in order to be able to have full access to his files. Even though the marriage began as a way to get more information, she fell in love with him and never doubted his innocence.
“I really believed him,” said Nina Wiggins. “I never had no doubt. I thought how could anybody see all this stuff and not know that he’s innocent, that he didn’t do this. How could anyone not know?”
Though now divorced, Nina Wiggins was thrilled to hear the news of her ex-husband’s exoneration.
“I’ve waited for so long for this, to know that I was right all this time,” said Nina Wiggins, now 60. “I was right.”