SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A California man will walk out of prison this week a free man thanks to help from the Innocence Project New Orleans.
Eric Prudholm was found guilty on charges of aggravated rape and robbery 37 years ago. He was sentenced to life on the rape charge and 50 years for robbery.
Wednesday, Prudholm’s lawyer told KSLA News 12 that DNA evidence proved his innocence and he will be released Thursday from Angola.
According to court records, a woman was raped in the early morning hours of June 8, 1981 by two men at the Drummer’s Inn in Bossier City. During the attack, two suspects forced the woman onto a bed and forced her husband onto another bed. A third suspect stood watch at the door during the attack.
Officers arrived on the scene of the crime after the suspects left and obtained various pieces of evidence, including DNA.
The victim identified Prudholm and two other men after the attack using a photo line-up.
During his court appearance, he pleaded guilty to theft to avoid spending more time in prison as he awaits a trial. The judge sentenced him to seven years but gave him time served for his 37 years.
His daughter and family sat in the courtroom, overjoyed by his acquittal.
“All I wanted was my father’s name cleared,” Daughter Erica Prudholm says. “Now we can try to build that father, daughter relationship that we have lost for so many years.”
According to Prudholm’s layers, they expect his release from Angola State Penitentiary tomorrow.
Kenley Hargett is tracking the latest developments in the case and will have a full report on KSLA News 12.