MODESTO (AP) — A former Modesto landlord will be freed from prison after being exonerated of a triple murder and arson conviction after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager said Tuesday that 72-year-old George Souliotes will be freed. He pleaded no contest Tuesday morning to three counts of involuntary manslaughter for failure to maintain a working smoke alarm.
Souliotes was convicted of arson and triple murder for a 1997 fire that killed 30-year-old Michelle Jones and her two children, 3-year-old Amanda and 6-year-old Daniel Jr.
A federal judge threw out that conviction in March, ruling that Souliotes didn't get a fair trial because of an inadequate defense.
A previous ruling found Souliotes had proved "actual innocence," and that no reasonable juror would convict him.