Floyd Degraw Is Still In Prison, But Not For The Cases Examined In 'The Innocent Man'

by Jordan Lauf

Spoilers ahead for The Innocent Man Season 1. Much like Making a Murderer before it, Netflix's new true crime series, The Innocent Man, re-examines a small town murder — or, in this case, two. That includes the 1984 murder of Denice Haraway, for which Karl Fontenot and Tommy Ward were convicted, but have since maintained their innocence. Though over 30 years have passed, multiple subjects in the show are still trying to exonerate Ward and Fontenot, and as such, have begun theorizing about others who could have been involved. One of the men those featured in the show allege could be connected is Floyd Degraw, who is now in prison on unrelated charges, according to records from the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation. (Degraw could not be reached for comment, but he was never charged in the case and maintains in The Innocent Man that he had nothing to do with Haraway's murder).

Degraw is first brought up by investigative reporter AC Shilton and private investigator Dan Clark, who both express their belief in Ward and Fontenot's innocence. In the series, Clark alleges that Degraw was "a predator" and that he "had the wherewithal, mentally and physically" to commit such a crime. According to Clark, Degraw was arrested in Shamrock, Texas for a rape and kidnapping charge he had allegedly committed only two or three nights after the disappearance of Haraway. Clark says that when police searched Degraw's car, they reportedly found two purses and IDs from women in Ada (neither of whom were Haraway).


Clark further alleges that Degraw was asked about Haraway's case while being questioned by police. According to Clark's narration of events, authorities claimed that when Haraway's murder was mentioned to him, Degraw became emotional. However, Degraw was never officially connected to Haraway's murder by police.

According to The Innocent Man, Degraw was convicted for the rape and kidnapping he was charged with in Texas. After he was released, Clark claims that Degraw returned to his home state of West Virginia, and was convicted for the murder of a woman there. Records from the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirm Degraw was charged with murder in 1994 and remains in prison today.


However, Degraw maintains in the show that he was in no way involved in Haraway's murder. "If I had anything to do with anything like that, I'd tell the police. Because, you know, I really ain't got nothing to lose," he tells Shilton in a phone call from prison featured in the show.

He goes on to ask Shilton why she is so convinced that Ward and Fontenot are innocent. When she explains her reasoning, he responds, "Well all I can say is, you know, if you are right and it wasn't these guys, then God bless you for helping them and getting them out and doing the right thing... just be for sure that you know for sure that they didn't do it."

With no solid evidence against Degraw, Shilton's allegations are just that: allegations.