Donald Deardorff was falsely implicated in the 1999 home invasion, robbery and murder of businessman Ted Turner in 1999 by the true perpetrator Millard Peacock, convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
Peacock had given him the a box to hold for safekeeping for two days. Donald became curious about the contents of the box and opened it and was surprised to see a gun and money.
When Donald heard Turner was missing, he got in a car with his girlfriend, Christy Andrews, and they rode around looking for Peacock so they could return the box to him. They stopped at a Wal-Mart, and were then stopped by the police, who were investigating the murder.
Peacock was arrested in Mississippi on October 5, 1999. He gave numerous conflicting statements to the police, and in July 2001, he agreed to “cooperate fully” and led the police to Turner’s remains.
Peacock testified against Donald at trial. In exchange for his testimony, Peacock pleaded guilty to two theft charges and received a 15-year prison sentence.
Recovered DNA, recovered handwriting samples, hair samples and other evidence excludes Donald. At this time no testing has been done to determine who it belongs to. Phone records prove that Donald was somewhere else, in a Rule 32 hearing a witness who was friends with the victim testified that she saw Peacock and the victim together at a time when Peacock claims that the victim had already been kidnapped. There are many many other issues that point to innocence.
There is no reliable independent evidence against Donald, only the word of Peacock, whose guilt is not in doubt.