Lawmaker proposes bill to compensate Keith Harward

Keith Harward (WAVY photo)

RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — A state lawmaker has filed a bill to compensate a former sailor who spent decades in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Under Delegate Richard Sullivan, Jr.’s bill, the state would pay $1.45 million for the relief of Keith Harward, with some conditions.

Harward got out of prison in April 2016 after 33 years. He had been serving a life sentence for the 1982 killing of Jesse Perron and the rape of his wife in Newport News, where Harward’s ship, the USS Carl Vinson, was docked at the time.

New DNA testing cleared Harward of the crime.

Undisclosed evidence pointed to Harward’s innocence, attorneys say

Harward’s conviction was thrown out and his name was removed from the state’s sex-offender registry.

Harward tells 10 On Your Side that the proposed compensation is not enough to make up for what he’s gone through, but, “It’s a good offer. We’ll see what happens.”

Stay with for updates on this developing story.