A three-judge panel has ruled that a Catawba County man was wrongly convicted in a 1987 rape case.
Willie Grimes was convicted in 1988 and spent 24 years behind bars after he was accused of raping a woman in October 1987.
On Friday morning, a panel of judges cleared Grimes.
Since he was declared not guilty by the panel, Grimes could be eligible for compensation for wrongful incarceration. The General Assembly approved a bill several years ago that could mean payments of $50,000 per year of incarceration up to a maximum of $750,000