On a rainy October afternoon in 1985, Bill Long was shot and killed in front of his uptown New Orleans bakery in what appears to have been an attempted robbery gone wrong. Three eyewitnesses, Thomas Weil, Mioshi Thompson and her sister, Deseree Thompson would later identify Jerome Smith as the assailant in separate photographic lineups and at trial. Despite having an alibi placing him with his mother at a youth study center at the time of the murder, a jury found Smith guilty of murdering bakery owner, Bill Long.
Following the denial of Smith's first 2254 applications, the state turned over evidence that the defense had not seen. The evidence contained tape-recorded statements from Thomas Weil and Mioshi Thompson taken the day after the shooting that contain facts that differ from their trial testimony. The withheld evidence also included an application for an arrest warrant, police memos, and an incident report, all indicating that the shooting occurred at 4:10 p.m. and that the first officers on the scene received the call at 4:14 p.m. and arrived at the scene 4:16 p.m., thus supporting Smith's alibi.
Despite the long list of evidence supporting Jerome Smith's innocence and the wrongdoings by the prosecution, the state appeals court rejected what Smith called his "all or nothing" shot to undo the verdict, leaving him short of options and still behind bars at Angola State Penitentiary.