Jason Walton

County of Conviction:

Convicted of:





case details

Jason Walton was at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles restaurant when a crime was committed miles away. Despite being on camera at the restaurant, Walton was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.


Jason Walton is an innocent man incarcerated in California for a murder he did not commit.  On November 13, 2005, Jason was at Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles restaurant.  At the same time several miles away, a shooting took place outside a popup street carnival.  Jason Walton has maintained his innocence since that day.  Despite this and new evidence developed since trial, Jason remains incarcerated.

The Case

Jason Walton, a member of the Mansfield Gangster Crips, stands accused of murdering 14-year-old William Cox in November 2005. Edward Williams, Cox’s friend, claims Jason was the shooter, but a closer look reveals Jason is innocent of the murder.

Things started heating up weeks before the tragedy. Jason had a run-in with Edward, a member of the Rollin’ 40’s, as Jason was in 40’s territory and Edward did not approve. On Halloween night, Edward got into another fight with Rollin’ 30’s, another gang that happened to be a rival of the Rollin’ 40s. Tension was high.

On November 13th, Edward and William visited a local carnival. Witness accounts start getting muddled here. Edward says he saw Jason hug a girl they were talking to, then shoot Cox first, before chasing and shooting him too. Edward survived, but the details of his story don’t quite add up.

For one, Jason is only an inch shorter than Edward, much taller than the shooter Edward describes. Plus, surveillance footage from a nearby restaurant captures Jason wearing different clothes before and after the crime. And to top it off, Edward didn’t even mention the shooter’s height until a year later, after talking to another suspect.

But that’s not all. Another witness, a ride operator, spotted someone running away from the scene. He identified him as Jason but described him as much shorter than Edward and Jason himself. 

Evidence from Jason’s side paints a different picture. Restaurant camera footage confirms he was there, miles away from the shooting, at the time it happened. Two people who knew Jason for years vouch for his presence. And his phone records show calls made near the restaurant, matching his activity on the footage.

Here’s where things get even trickier. Remember the surveillance footage? Well, its timestamp might be off by five minutes. If that’s true, it means Jason was on camera during the time the shooting was reported.  He could not be in two places at once.

Alternatively, the timestamp could be three minutes slow based on Jason’s phone pings to the nearby tower.  That leaves Jason with eight minutes to drive to the carnival, change clothes, shoot everyone, change again, race back to the restaurant, and appear on camera – all before making more phone calls. The Innocence Center investigated and found it simply impossible to pull off in that timeframe.

The plot thickened further when another witness came forward. This carnival worker says his coworker, the first witness, couldn’t have seen the shooter from where he was standing. He even claims the police pressured the first witness to point the finger at Jason.

The Innocence Center continues to dig deeper, hoping to find more witnesses and clear Jason Walton’s name. This case might not be as simple as it seems.  As with many cases like Jason’s, the best path toward freedom is for The Innocence Center to identify the true perpetrator, a challenge in a case with gang involvement.  

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