Jermaine Smothers

County of Conviction:

Convicted of:





case details

Jermaine Smothers was wrongly convicted of a shooting in San Diego. While incarcerated, evidence came to light pointing to the true perpetrator. Smothers was released on parole in 2023.

Jermaine Smothers was convicted of shooting and killing Ernesto Flores on May 11, 1995. Despite Jermaine consistently saying he didn’t commit the crime and passing a lie detector test, he was found guilty of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The judge sentenced him to 29 years to life.

In 2001, a detective, while investigating a different case, found evidence suggesting Smothers was not the shooter who killed Flores. She began investigating the case and interviewed other people who confirmed Jermaine Smothers was not involved in the crime and that he was wrongly convicted. By 2005, she was digging deeper into Smother’s case.

Over the next few years, she interviewed witnesses who named another man as the shooter. Some of the key witnesses from Smothers’s trial admitted they lied. In 2008, just before retiring, the detective brought the case to several attorneys, including Mike Semanchik, Raquel Barilla, and Audrey McGinn.  Together, they uncovered even more evidence of Smothers’s innocence.

In 2018, the lawyers filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus detailing the new evidence of his innocence and asking for his release. The petition argued that the eyewitnesses were mistaken, and someone else committed the crime. Although the attorneys were unsuccessful in court, Smothers was recently released on parole and is enjoying his life as a free man.  

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