CENTREVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — More than a decade after Jodi Parrack was murdered in her hometown, Ray McCann II has finally cleared his name.
St. Joseph County Circuit Judge Paul Stutesman on Thursday set aside his conviction of perjury. McCann already had served 20 months behind bars after pleading no contest to that charge.
The Michigan Innocence Clinic said that St. Joseph County Prosecutor John McDonough agreed that the charges should be dropped.
“It is ironic that after serving time in the county jail and being threatened with a potential life sentence, Ray McCann pleaded no contest to a charge of perjury when, in fact, he had told the truth and the charge itself was based on police fabrications,” said Michigan Innocence Clinic Director David Moran. “I am grateful that Mr. McDonough chose to do the right thing and exonerate him.”
In a Thursday press release, the Michigan Innocence Clinic thanked Target 8 for bringing the case to its attention.
Jodi Parrack, 10, disappeared Nov. 8, 2007, in her hometown of Constantine. Her body was found later in a cemetery.
McCann, then a reserve police officer, quickly became the focus of the investigation.
Lawyers from the University of Michigan’s Michigan Innocence Clinic and Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions took up McCann’s case in response to Target 8’s Making a Monster investigation that showed police lied repeatedly while interrogating him.
Among the lies, his attorneys said, was that police told him they found his DNA on Jodi’s body. During interrogations, McCann denied any involvement in the killing 86 times.
“The victory came too late to avoid 20 months behind bars, the loss of his job and marriage, and ostracization in his community,” Moran said in a release.
His case to overturn the conviction came down to grainy video, and whether police lied about it.
McCann told police he was at the Tumble Dam in Constantine during the search for Jodi.
State Police Detective Bryan Fuller later testified surveillance video showed McCann was not there.
McCann’s attorneys watched the surveillance video for the first time last year after Target 8 used the Freedom of Information act to get a copy from Prosecutor John McDonough. They said they learned that the video, taken from a nearby creamery, didn’t show the area around the dam at all.
Daniel Furlong, now in prison for life for killing Jodi, has said he worked alone and never knew McCann.