Ex-Baseball Player Released from Prison, to be Tried Again

Apr 4, 2016

A former Charleston Wheelers baseball player convicted in a 1987 sexual assault case whose sentence was recently vacated has been released from prison, but his freedom remains uncertain.

Jimmie Gardner.
Credit WCHSTV

Forty-nine-year-old Jimmie Gardner was released on bond Friday, after serving over 25 years in prison. Gardner was convicted in 1990 of sexually assaulting a Kanawha City woman and beating her mother. He was sentenced to 33 to 110 years in prison.

A judge vacated Gardner's sentence last month, based on false testimony given by former state police forensic serologist Fred Zain, whose discredited work resulted in millions of dollars paid to wrongfully convicted defendants.

However, prosecutors said Friday that they will try Gardner again, citing fingerprint evidence against him. A new trial date has been set for May 16.