Man exonerated for murder sentenced for tax fraud

Chad Heins served 14 years for murder before DNA overturned conviction

By Ashley Spicer - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A man who served 14 years in prison for murder before DNA evidence helped overturn his conviction will be going back to jail, this time for income tax fraud.

Chad Heins was sentenced to one year and one day in jail, which will be served in Wisconsin. After serving that time, Heins will be on three years of supervised release.

Heins did not want to be interviewed Tuesday but left court in Jacksonville tearfully walking hand-in-hand with his girlfriend, Amy.

His attorney, Hank Coxe, also didn't want to comment about the case.

Heins last left Jacksonville for Wisconsin in 2007 after being released from prison.

He was 19 years old when he was convicted of the murder and attempted rape of his pregnant sister-in-law, who was stabbed 27 times.

After almost 14 years of time served, Heins was released after DNA findings did not match him.

While he was serving time, Heins spent a year with a cellmate who is the mastermind behind the tax fraud to which Heins pleaded guilty.

The total amount of money the six individuals connected to the fraud case stole from the IRS was over $285,000. But Coxe argued Heins only received $75,000 of that money and that $20,000 of that went to past child support.

Heins spoke in court Tuesday, saying he was sorry and that he knew what he did was wrong.

The United States wanted Heins to spend 27 months behind bars, but given his past time spent in jail on a wrongful conviction and the role he played in the fraud, the judge decided a year and a day was fair punishment.

Heins, along with the other five defendants, will also have to pay back the IRS the $287,533 they stole. Heins will do so in $50 monthly payments.

Heins was ordered by the judge to voluntarily surrender himself to a Wisconsin prison by noon on Oct. 22. 

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