For the first time in more than 25 years, Georgia men Darrell Lee Clark and Kane Joshua Storey will home for Christmasthanks to a true crime podcast that exposed their wrongful murder convictions and attorneys from the Georgia Innocence Project.

Clark and Storey were released from the Floyd County Jail the following Thursday Rome District Attorney’s Office agreed that their convictions in the 1996 shooting death of a friend should be overturned. They were embraced by tearful friends and family who had gathered to meet them.

“You never think something like this will happen to you,” Lee Clark said in a statement. “I never thought I would spend more than half of my life in prison, especially for something I didn’t do. I’m just glad the truth is finally out after 25 years. I am very grateful to the Georgia Innocence Project and the Proof Podcast for what they have done. Without them, I would still be in prison.”

Attorneys with the Georgia Innocence Project said Clark’s acquittal was obtained after a plea was filed new evidence of police misconduct in the law enforcement investigation into the 1996 death of 15-year-old Brian Bowling.


Lee Clark, left, and Joseph Storey, right, were released from prison Thursday after serving 25 years for a murder they did not commit. Their release was achieved after the Proof podcast uncovered new evidence in their case.
(Courtesy of Fox 5 Atlanta)

On October 18, 1996, Bowling was hanging out with his best friend Kane Joshua Storey at his parents’ trailer home. He was on the phone with his girlfriend when he told her they were playing Russian roulette with the gun Storey had brought. A stupid and dangerous game ended tragically. Bowling pulled the trigger of the weapon, the bullet went through his head and killed him.

Investigators initially believed Storey’s account of the crash. He was charged with manslaughter. But months later, police reopened the investigation at the request of Bowling’s distraught family, according to the Georgia Innocence Project.

During the investigation, they interviewed a woman who lived near Bowling’s home. She told investigators that Story and Clark came to a party she threw months after the shooting. She claimed that a couple of 17-year-olds at her party told her that they planned to kill Bowling because he knew too much about a previous robbery by Storey and Clark.

After further investigation, Storey was charged with involuntary manslaughter upgraded to kill, and Clark was arrested as an accomplice, even though Clark had a proven alibi. Police relied on the testimony of a hearing- and speech-impaired witness who was in another room in the Bowling home when the shooting occurred. They claimed a witness identified Clark from photographs as the man he saw running around the yard that night. No one else in the Bowling house reported seeing anyone outside.

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Kane Joshua Storey gives an interview to FOX 5 Atlanta after being released from prison.  Storey was present when 15-year-old Brian Bowling shot himself on October 18, 1996.

Kane Joshua Storey gives an interview to FOX 5 Atlanta after being released from prison. Storey was present when 15-year-old Brian Bowling shot himself on October 18, 1996.
(Courtesy of Fox 5 Atlanta)

At trial, the state built its case on testimony from the hostess of the party that the boys conspired to kill Bowling in revenge and on a witness’s identification of Clark, who fled the home.

Charlie Childers, a hearing and speech impaired witness, struggled to speak to the court. He repeatedly said Storey was present at the home the night of the shooting, but also said the man he identified as “Darrell” was not present in the courtroom, although Clark was at the defense table. Childers told the court through an interpreter that “Darrell” was a “black boy” with “black hair” who had a wife, according to FOX 5 Atlanta. The description did not match Clark, who goes by his middle name, Lee, is white, single and has brown hair.

The state also heard testimony from the county coroner, who had no formal medical training, because no autopsy was performed on Bowling’s body. The coroner told the court he had a “gut feeling” the gunshot wound was not self-inflicted because it was not a close contact wound.

Despite shaky evidence and Clarke’s alibi, the trial concluded a week later and both were found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.


Lee Clark was unjustly jailed for more than 25 years after being convicted of a murder he did not commit.

Lee Clark was unjustly jailed for more than 25 years after being convicted of a murder he did not commit.
(Courtesy of FOX 5 Atlanta)

It was not until 2021, more than two decades later, that the facts of the case were revisited by Susan Simpson and Jacinda Davis on their Evidence podcast.

Simpson and Davis re-examined key witnesses from the trial. They found a better interpreter for Childers, who testified that he never told police he saw Clark the night of the shooting. Much of his testimony related to an unrelated crime he witnessed a decade earlier.

The hosts of the Proof podcast also spoke with the hostess of the party, who recanted her testimony and said she was coerced by the police, who allegedly threatened to take her children away and asked her for sex. A new witness interviewed on the podcast confirmed her fear of police retaliation.

Armed with this new evidence, Senior Counsel Christina Cribbs and Accountability Counsel Megan Hurley of the Georgia Innocence Project secured a new trial for Clark. At a hearing Thursday, the district attorney and a superior court judge agreed that Clark should be acquitted of all charges, FOX 5 reported.


“We are very happy to see Lee and his family finally get the justice that has been so long overdue. This would not have been possible without the support of the Bowling family and the district attorney’s office, which was willing to take an objective, fresh look at an old case,” Cribbs said. “The Bowling family suffered a great loss when Brian died. Their strength, open intelligence, a willingness to question information that has been presented as ‘fact’, and the search for truth is inspiring.”

“Official misconduct was certainly a factor in Lee’s case, just as it was in more than 50 percent of wrongful conviction cases. What we must take away from this is that unfettered power, without proper checks and balances, leaves room for error. and misconduct. Adequate oversight, combined with educational initiatives aimed at preventing and correcting wrongful convictions, are key,” said Hurley. “Prosecutors have a duty to ensure that justice is done in their cases, and this must include adherence to the principles of good faith, fairness and accountability. It is vital that they are prepared to take corrective action when they see injustice, including when injustice is perpetrated by the police.”

The judge reduced Storey’s charge to the original manslaughter charge, which carried a 10-year sentence, and gave him credit for time served.

Both men went home to their families before Christmas.


“This is a real shock. I stayed behind the prison walls for 25 years, got out and saw how the world has changed,” – Clark. Fox 5 said.

His father, Glenn Clark, was thankful to God that justice had finally been served.

“Let me tell you something. The Lord shines, He shines today,” he said.

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