Bond set for man after spending 35 years in prison - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Bond set for man after spending 35 years in prison

Paul Tyner in court Paul Tyner in court
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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A Columbus man who has served more than 30 years behind bars for rape could be released from jail now that the judge has approved his request for bond. 

"Originally he was convicted 35 years ago of raping women at gunpoint, I mean I'm sorry at knife point," said the State Prosecutor Jennifer Cooley.

Cooley says Paul Tyner's convictions were not overturned for a lack of evidence, but because he represented himself. 

"I know this is not a popular case that people would like to support but my father has been in jail 35 years and has maintained his innocence," says Shawn Raleigh, who was five when his father was incarcerated.

After spending more than three decades in prison, Tyner's conviction was overturned earlier this year when it was determined the judge in the original trial violated his sixth amendment-right to counsel.

On Thursday, a judge set a $25,000 for each one of Tyner's 15 charges.

"We can't go back and change that he wasn't here all those years, you know all we can do is just make the best of it and the situation came back around years later so it is possible that my father may be coming home," says Raleigh. 

Tyner, represented by the Georgia Innocence Project, is charged with three counts of armed robbery, five counts of rape, five counts of burglary and two counts of aggravated sodomy. 

Tyner's bond was set with the conditions that he would be monitored electronically and would be prohibited from living with women.

“I’m not upset, I’m not happy. I just know that it is going to take a little more work. As far as the bond I’m not surprised by the severity of the bond it’s just something we got to deal with,” says Raleigh.

The family says they plan to ask the judge to lower Tyner's bond at the next hearing on May 5.

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