Inside LADA

February 28, 2024: District Attorney Gascón Announces Exonerations of Two Men Wrongfully Convicted of Murder in Los Angeles


Exoneration News Conference

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced today the exonerations and release of Jofama Coleman and Abel Soto, each of whom spent two decades in prison for a murder they did not commit in May 2003.

“Jofama Coleman and Abel Soto were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for a murder they did not commit,” District Attorney Gascón said. “Our hearts also go out to Jose Robles’ family, who have suffered immeasurably through this tragedy and injustice. To everyone impacted, we offer not just words of regret, but a solemn promise of our unwavering pursuit of truth and justice. This ordeal underscores my office’s relentless dedication, through our Conviction Integrity and Habeas units, to righting the wrongs of the past. Together, we forge ahead in our quest for justice, acknowledging the pain endured but steadfast in our resolve.”

Ellen Eggers, an attorney for Mr. Coleman and Mr. Soto, said, “Jofama Coleman and Abel Soto are my heroes, never faltering in their quest for justice. Jofama transformed his cell into a classroom to master the law itself. Their indomitable spirit, coupled with Jessica Jacobs’ essential support, unraveled the truth that set them free. I’m grateful to Head Deputy Juan Mejia, Supervising DA Amy Wilton, and the extraordinary DDA Lara Bazan, whose diligent and insightful efforts paved the way for swift justice. Finally, I am deeply grateful to District Attorney George Gascón for righting this profound wrong. Today is a testament to the power of unwavering resolve and the relentless pursuit of justice.”

Watch the news conference.

Read the news release.