MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — A federal judge has placed the man at the center of a documentary series "The Innocent Man" on the path to potential freedom.

U.S. District Judge James Payne of Muskogee, Oklahoma, has ruled there was reasonable doubt that Karl Fontenot (FAHN'-teh-noh) should have been convicted in 1988 in the kidnapping and killing of Ada convenience store clerk Denice Haraway in 1984.

Payne gave the state 120 days to grant Fontenot a new trial or release him permanently.

Fontenot's case was the focus of the John Grisham book "The Innocent Man" and a later Netflix documentary series by the same name.

In Payne's opinion filed Wednesday, he found that Fontenot's mental illnesses raised serious questions about the validity of his uncorroborated confession. Fontenot's account of what happened came from a dream he says he had about the killing.

An Oklahoma attorney general spokesman says the judge's order is still being reviewed.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.