Damon Thibodeaux: Wrongly convicted man dies of Covid-19, 9 years after he was exonerated

“The nurse that took care of him stated he was optimistic and really pleasant. She was honored to handle him. She stated most individuals are hateful however Damon was not,” David Thibodeaux, Damon’s brother, advised CNN. “That is my brother. He’s a really loving individual.”

Damon, 47, was wrongly convicted in Louisiana in 1997 and had been working as an Austin, Texas-based business truck driver since his jail launch in 2012. He had rebuilt his life, in keeping with his brother.

“He had no grudges, and will have been offended on the world, however he wasn’t offended at anybody. He prayed to forgive people who incarcerated him,” David stated.

Damon was on the street, shortly after getting his second Moderna vaccine shot, when he began feeling signs of the virus, David stated. The 2 brothers talked daily, and Damon referred to as David and advised him he wasn’t feeling nicely just a few days into his drive firstly of August.

“As we had been speaking, I used to be like, ‘Man, it sounds such as you’re congested,’ and he stated that he wasn’t feeling good and he was exhausted. He thought that he was getting a sinus an infection,” David stated.

Damon was driving a truck to Jacksonville, Florida, from New York and advised his brother he would get checked out after he made his supply.

After 15 years on death row, freedom

When Damon arrived in Florida, he referred to as to inform David that he was headed to an emergency clinic. Whereas he was ready, David stated, he handed out and fell on his face. Three or 4 days glided by with none phrase from Damon.

“Then out of the blue, he referred to as me barely in a position to discuss. He’d go three or 4 phrases after which should gasp for air, and he advised me that he was within the hospital,” David stated. “And he stated he examined optimistic for Covid pneumonia.”

David stated Damon went from unhealthy to worse. His oxygen ranges dropped and he was placed on a ventilator as a result of he could not breathe on his personal.

The pair texted daily and for a couple of week. Damon’s situation went up and down, in keeping with David. His brother stated he moved from the ventilator to oxygen and was away from Covid however couldn’t shake the pneumonia.

He began to get higher after which the surprising occurred

Damon’s well being began to improved little by little, in keeping with David. The Tuesday earlier than his loss of life, he advised David that if his oxygen reached 95 or higher, the medical employees stated they may take off the oxygen tube and see how he did on his personal.

On September 2, Damon referred to as David and was longing for his restoration.

“He stated, ‘Bro, I am able to get out of right here and are available house,'” David stated.

David advised him he cherished him, and he made plans to drive from Texas to choose Damon up.

Damon Thibodeaux walks out of prison.

Later that evening, David received a name from the hospital. Damon’s lungs had collapsed, and his coronary heart had failed, hospital employees advised him.

“(The nurse) stated, ‘We’d like permission to cease resuscitation,'” David stated.

He stated he could not consider what was occurring as a result of he had simply spoken to his brother hours earlier than, and Damon had no pre-existing circumstances. However after listening to that they had been attempting to begin his coronary heart for 45 minutes, David knew his brother was gone. He gave the hospital permission to cease.

“As harm and painful as it’s, it is actually inspiring (to see individuals touched by his story),” David stated. “He is at peace.”

Pam Wandzel, director of professional bono and neighborhood service on the regulation agency Fredrikson & Byron, received to know Damon from serving to along with his homicide case. She advised CNN he was grateful for his second probability at life.

“I’ve by no means met anybody who persevered so eloquently,” she stated. “He took benefit of each second of it. He actually explored himself and the world round him, and he achieved lots in these 9 years. He was a outstanding man.”

Wrongly convicted and was nonetheless looking for compensation

Thibodeaux was wrongly convicted in 1997 after he after falsely confessed to having raped and murdered his 14-year-old step-cousin.

He was amongst quite a few individuals who had been interviewed by police, and after some 9 hours of interrogation he gave an “obvious confession” to the crime, in keeping with the ACLU. Thibodeaux was convicted and spent 15 years on loss of life row.

His court-ordered launch got here after DNA and different proof exonerated him. Jefferson Parish District Legal professional Paul Connick Jr. agreed with Thibodeaux’s legal professionals that he had confessed to against the law he had not dedicated.

Although his conviction was overturned 9 years in the past, David Thibodeaux stated Damon had not acquired compensation for his years of wrongful imprisonment. David stated he’s going to proceed litigation to acquire compensation for Damon’s son and grandchildren.

Supply hyperlink