GRAND JUNCTION, Colo., -- Just a week after Robert Dewey's murder conviction was overturned in Mesa County Court, we are hearing from the family of the man now implicated. Douglas Thames has been linked to the 1994 murder of Jacie Taylor, but his family says he's as innocent as Dewey is.
Thames' mom says there is no way he could have killed Jacie Taylor back in 1994, or Susan Doll in 1989 for that matter. She says she can even prove it. But the District Attorney's office says his DNA suggests otherwise.
"I don't believe there's anyway that he is guilty of it because that is not Doug," his mom Sandra Gifford said. "Doug is the kindest person you could ever meet. There isn't a person that he wouldn't help."
Gifford looked through old pictures to remember her son who has been in jail now for 17 years as well. Convicted of the 1989 murder of Susan Doll, his DNA has now been linked to Palisade woman Jacie Taylor's death from 1994.
"I think there are several men in prison for things they didn't do because I know my son is innocent," Gifford said.
And not just innocent of the most recent murder, but Gifford says her son is not involved in either of them.
"There was no way a 16 year old could have killed her," she said. "The vicious, and brutality that happened his attorney said there was no way."
Thames, who was a teenager at the time, claims he was out of town on a camping trip in 1989. His family says they even have the pictures to prove it. But during his trial, the DA didn't buy the story, accusing his family of doctoring those photos.
"Well it was a blue pen instead of a black pen that she had originally wrote on the photo and so then years later when they went through the photo albums there was two different colors on the back of the pictures," Gifford said.
Now nearly 18 years later, the same program that freed Dewey from his life sentence upheld Thames' conviction, and accusing him in another case. But his family insists they have got the wrong man for both murders; making a bold claim that the state is setting Thames up.
"They sent his name in and they sent another man's submission number in under my sons name to be tested for DNA and we have the documentation to prove it," Gifford said. "I always believed in the justice system, until this happened to my son."
Thames' family says they are just going to keep trying to prove his innocence and hope the justice system will grant his motion of appeal. The Colorado Juvenile Justice Coalition is also looking at his case.