CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — David Strickland's family believes he's in jail for a crime he didn't commit.
Strickland is serving a life sentence for the June 2012 shooting of Mollie Olgin and Kristene Chapa at Portland’s Violet Andrews Park. Olgin died from her injuries, while Chapa survived.
Linda Strickland contacted KRIS Communications on Friday, saying lawyers wouldn't let her speak before. However, now she says, it's time to tell her son's side of the story.
“I have so much I want to say,” she said.
Most importantly, Linda Strickland said her son doesn't belong in prison.
“He has remained strong, he has faith that he will get out; because he did not do it,” she said.
David Strickland was convicted in 2016 for Olgin’s murder, as well as shooting and sexually assaulting Chapa. However, Linda Strickland believes DNA evidence collected at the scene clears her son.
“If DNA evidence is enough to put a person in prison, it should be enough to release a person in prison,” Linda Strickland said.
She said the DNA evidence matches the case's original suspect, and that an eyewitness saw that suspect following the two women in the park that evening.
“The bottom line is David Strickland did not do this horrific thing,” said Linda Strickland. “He was blamed for it, but he did not do it.”
Prosecutors argued shell casings at the scene matched David Strickland’s gun, and that parts of a letter written two years later were found on his computer. However, Linda Strickland believes those ballistics were inconclusive, and said there was no way her son used his computer to write the letter.
“His computer was at my house,” Linda Strickland said.
Linda Strickland lives in Portland, at the time of his arrest, David Strickland was living in Helotes. David Strickland’s lawyers have appealed his conviction, leaving Linda to hope and pray.
“We're praying that the justices, the court of appeals, can go through this mess and exonerate him,” she said.
She said her heart hurts for Chapa, Olgin, and their families, but insists her son is innocent. She wants him to get his day in court to prove it. There is, however, no word on when the court of appeals will rule on Strickland’s case.