Joseph Jefferson-Dust hearing indicates conviction will be overturned

Montana Innocence Project client Joseph Jefferson-Dust with grandmother Edwina Beaumont and mom Lydina Big Man at Yellowstone County Courthouse July 28 (Photo by  AMY LYNN NELSON, Billings Gazette)

Montana Innocence Project client Joseph Jefferson-Dust appeared before Judge Brett Linneweber this afternoon for a hearing regarding his Post-Conviction Relief Petition. We are thrilled to announce that Judge Linneweber relieved Joe of all duties to probation and parole and indicated that he will vacate the conviction in response to the post-hearing briefings he ordered from both sides.

Judge Linneweber spent a portion of the hearing eliciting context from MTIP Legal Director Caiti Carpenter about the evidence that he openly discussed was to help him decide whether to vacate the conviction and dismiss the charges or vacate the conviction and order a new trial. Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law were ordered for August 18. We hope to have an official order soon after.

Stay tuned next week for Joe’s reaction to this life-changing news!