Herbert Alford was sentenced to 30 to 60 years after being wrongfully convicted of second-degree murder in 2016. After spending almost 5 years in prison, Alford was exonerated when the evidence he needed to prove his innocence was finally made available.
The crucial piece of evidence needed to clear Alford’s name was a receipt from Hertz car rental. The receipt proved that 6 minutes before the murder occurred, Alford was at a Hertz located 15-25 minutes away from the crime scene.
Unfortunately for Alford, it took several years and multiple court orders and subpoenas for the Hertz Corporation to turn over the receipt.
Now Alford is suing Hertz, saying he would not have been convicted or spent nearly 5 years in prison if the company had provided the receipt when asked in 2016.
“Had the defendants not ignored and disobeyed numerous court orders requiring them to produce the documentation that eventually freed Mr. Alford, he would not have spent over 1,700 days incarcerated,” Alford’s attorneys, Jamie White, wrote in a complaint.
Hertz finally shared the documents with the court in 2018, more than two years after they were initially contacted by Alford’s lawyers.
A spokesperson for Hertz told CNN the company is “deeply saddened to learn of Mr. Alford’s experience.”
“While we were unable to find the historic rental record from 2011 when it was requested in 2016, we continued our good faith efforts to locate it,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “With advances in data search in the years following, we were able to locate the rental record in 2018 and promptly provided it.”
Alford is seeking compensation in excess of $25,000, according to the complaint. But there’s “no dollar figure that’s going to make this right,” White said.