In the small town of Crozet, Virginia, tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains, 41-year-old Nola “Ann” Charles and her three-year-old son William were found dead in their home after it had been set on fire. The mother was found with a knife in her back and her throat slit. The boy had been duct taped to a bed; he died from smoke inhalation. Two teenagers, brother and sister Rocky Fugett, 19, and Jessica Fugett, 15, who lived across the street from the Charles’ were arrested and charged with murder. They named two other kids from high school as accomplices in the robbery-turned-murder including 18-year-old Robert Davis. After a 6-hour interrogation wherein Davis repeatedly denied any involvement, he finally confessed to a crime he claimed he didn’t commit. Davis’ lawyer had a difficult time proving that Davis’ confession was false and coerced. Davis was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
The Fugett siblings pleaded guilty – Rocky was sentenced to 75 years, Jessica was sentenced to 100 years. They later filed affidavits admitting that they lied about Davis’ involvement. After serving nearly 13 years in prison, Davis received a pardon from Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe. Thanks to his extremely loyal and dedicated lawyer Steve Rosenfield, Davis was released from prison on December 12, 2015, his mother’s birthday. When asked what was the first thing he wanted to do as a free man, the 31-year-old Davis said: “I want to go and hug my mother.” Dateline NBC will air its investigation of Davis’ confession on Sunday, February 14 at 7pm.