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Norfolk man released from prison after serving 20 years for crime someone else admitted to

Posted at 3:46 PM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 19:12:54-04

NORFOLK, Va. - A Norfolk man in prison for more than 20 years for a crime some else admitted to is finally free.

NewsChannel 3 began investigating Bobbi Morman’s conviction in February 2014. He was released on parole Friday.

The 41-year-old has been in prison since he was 18-years-old for a drive-by shooting in Norfolk that someone admitted to in court and to NewsChannel 3.

“Time and time I admit it. To this day, I admit it,” said Gino Payne in February 2014.

For the last 22 years, Payne has told police, judges and a jury that he was the one who fired a gun in a 1993 drive-by shooting on the corner of Ball and South Lakeland in Norfolk. No one was killed or injured.  Court transcripts obtained by NewsChannel 3 show the three people who felt they were targets thought they saw Morman firing the gun.  The three were know neighborhood rivals of each other.

Morman’s brother, Tony, said he was in the car that night with Payne and believes the others mistook him for his brother.

A Norfolk judge sentenced Morman to 48 years in prison for attempted malicious wounding.

Norfolk defense attorney SW Dawson took on Morman’s case after our investigation, and filed a pardon request with Governor McAuliffe and petitions with the State Parole Board. The board granted Morman’s pardon in November 2015, and released him from prison on April 8.