'The Innocence Files' on Netflix: What Happened to Chester Hollman III After the Events of the Netflix Series?

The Innocence Files is full of tragic stories of people wrongfully convicted and sent to prison for crimes they did not commit. One story that has particularly touched viewers of the Netflix true crime documentary, however, is that of Chester Hollman III. The doc subject served 28 years in jail for second-degree murder and robbery based on the statement of two people, who later recanted their testimony.

Hollman had been accused of murdering University of Pennsylvania student Tae-Jung Ho in a robbery gone wrong. His prosecutors argued that Hollman had fought with Ho while a second person shot and killed the student.

His conviction was in part to the testimony of two people: a homeless drug addict called Andre Dawkins and Hollman's neighbor Deirdre Jones

Despite the former recanting their testimony in 2001, and the latter following suit in 2012, Hollman was not released from his prison in Pennsylvania in July 2019.

innocence files chester hollman iii
Chester Hollman III was released after serving 28 years for a crime he did not commit Netflix

Jones said in recanting her testimony that she had been coerced into lying, but after the case detective David Baker denied this, the judge decided not to reopen the case.

Six years later, Hollman's release came after Philadelphia's Conviction Integrity Unit (run by district attorney Larry Krasner) concluded that police and prosecutors had hidden evidence.

In a July 2019 interview with ABC News, Hollman's lawyer Alan Tauber said his client held no ill will against the two witnesses. Tauber said: "[Chester] says 'How could I be angry at them? they're victims too.'"

After being released, Hollman gave an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer where he discussed adjusting to life outside of the prisons that had been his home for close to three decades. He said, "I feel like I'm crushed inside. I don't feel like I'm really me. It took every ounce of strength to make it to this point."

Following his release, he went to live with his father with Delaware and set himself the task or acclimating to everyday life. Part of this involved him adopting a dog that he named Journey. He had been training this dog in prison as part of a program, but was able to adopt it when he was released.

As Pennsylvania is one the 15 states that do not have any sort of exoneration compensation programs, it is unlikely that Hollman will receive any sort of financial compensation despite being wrongfully jailed for nearly 30 years.

The Innocence Files is streaming now on Netflix.