Bite Mark Evidence Sends Innocent Man to Death Row

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2011
Death Penalty News Blog runs the CNN Anderson Cooper story about Ray Krone

Ray Krone: "I was called a monster, then an unremorseful killer"

Ray Krone was arrested for the sexual assault and brutal murder of a female bartender in Phoenix, Arizona in 1991. The case rested largely on bite mark evidence on the body of the victim, 36-year-old Kim Ancona. Krone was dubbed by the media as the “snaggletooth killer.” He was found guilty and recieved the death penalty.

“I was called a monster, then an unremorseful killer, then sentenced to death and shackled and taken right straight to death row,” says Krone.

He vehemently maintained his innocence and fought for a retrial. In 1996 Krone was given a second chance to prove he didn’t commit the murder. Again, the same bite mark expert’s testimony portrayed him as guilty, but this time Krone’s defense team had their own bite mark experts to rebut the prosecution.

“I was starting to get a sense of real faith again in the system, the truth was coming out. The jury was seeing this, this bite mark expert for the prosecution was going to be exposed and things were going to be OK for me and my family again,” he said.

But the jury once again found Krone guilty. “It hurt, it was more painful than the first time,” says Krone. He added, “but it isn’t what nearly killed me. What cut me to the bone, to the core, was they said ‘guilty’ and I heard this most horrible scream, this moan from my Mom and sister about five feet behind me (in court).”

Although Krone was found guilty a second time, the judge had doubts about the case and took him off death row and reduced his sentence to 25 years to life in prison. Krone says despite the lesser sentence, he nearly lost all hope.

“I’m not going back to death row, but really you already took my life, my freedom, my honor, my word is no good, I’m a monster, you might as well kill me. What is there to live for?”

But he never gave up fighting and his family and defense team never stopped believing in his innocence. In 2002, DNA from the crime scene was analyzed and not only didn’t match Krone’s, but there was another person in the DNA database who it matched perfectly. To make things easy on law enforcement, the perfect match was already behind bars – a convict named Kenneth Phillips.

Click here to read the full article

Source: CNN, AC360, December 21, 2011

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