A rape victim from 1985 is now speaking out to help clear the man she falsely convicted of the crime. Timothy Brian Cole served 13 years in prison for a rape we now know he did not committ. He died in jail in 1999, but that hasn't stopped his family and now the woman who originally accused him from trying to clear his name.
"I don't know, I don't how I could have made that mistake. I honestly don't know, I really thought I had the right guy."
At the time of Timothy Cole's conviction in 1986, Michelle Mallin was convinced he was the one who kidnapped and raped her near Texas Tech. It was her identification that almost solely led to Cole's arrest and conviction. Now, twenty two years later, Mallin sits with Cole's family apologizing for pointing out the wrong man.
Cole was sentenced to 25 years in prison and served 13 of those years before dying of asthma complications in 1999. Nearly a decade later, the district attorney's office retested DNA samples and found it did not match Cole's. It matched a man who has been confessing to the crime for years, Jerry Wayne Johnson, who's serving a life sentence for other rapes.
"It upsets me because now here I am feeling guilty because the wrong guy was convicted and obviously unfortunately passed away and if they had shown me the right guy to begin with maybe I would have God willing picked him."
The Innocence Project of Texas has been working with the family to clear Cole's name, but they have already reached some roadblocks. Now they plan to ask a court in Austin for help. If they succeed, his will be the first exoneration after death in Texas.