Man who says he falsely confessed to arson out of jail, back in court

Man who says he falsely confessed to arson out of jail, back in court

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Louisville man is in court after years in prison for a crime he says he falsely confessed to.

In 2009, UB Thomas III was suspected of arson, interrogated and confessed. In 2010, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being found guilty.

But then the Public Integrity Unit revealed that investigators with the Louisville Arson Squad gave Thomas beer during interrogation, something not revealed during his trial.

He spent years behind bars claiming he was innocent, saying he was given beer and drugs during the confession.

In 2017, Judge Olu Stephens threw out the original conviction. Thomas was released on bond. But the Commonwealth appealed.

"Unfortunately, once someone has been convicted of a crime in Kentucky the appeals process is quite lengthy," Euva Blandford said.

Blandford is an Attorney with the Department of Public Advocacy and is representing Thomas.

Though Thomas is out of jail, he says the terms of his bond prevent him from working. Part of the terms include that he lives at the Healing Place and complete rehabilitation. Thomas has completed rehabilitation and is requesting to move to a sober living facility.

"It's saddening because I have done everything that they have asked me to do and yet they still object," Thomas said.

On Monday, the Commonwealth denied the modification because they believe Thomas belongs behind bars.

"I have been waiting eight years and six months, so I have grown accustomed to being told no," Thomas said.

Blandford says it could be nine months to a year before a new trial is set. In the mean time, she wants her client to be able to live as normal as a life as he can.

"This is a process and I have to trust the process," Thomas said. "I want the people of Louisville to know that there isn't new evidence in my case and I don't know why they are still holding me."

On Nov. 21, Thomas will be back in court and Judge Stevens will have a say on the bond modification.

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