In 1997, David Housler was convicted of the murders of four employees in the notorious “Taco Bell” murders in Clarksville, Tenn., and was sentenced to four consecutive life sentences. But on Oct. 4, after spending nearly 14 years in prison, Housler walked out of prison a free man thanks to four years of pro bono work by a team of Sidley Austin lawyers who were able to show that the government had convicted an innocent man.
Housler’s involvement in the Taco Bell case was partly a matter of unfortunate timing. Shortly after a gunman walked into the Taco Bell restaurant on Jan. 30, 1994, and shot four individuals, Housler was arrested for his suspected involvement in an unrelated robbery. Facing a bail of $50,000, Housler concocted a story designed to provide prosecutors information about the Taco Bell shooting in exchange for a reduced bail.
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