Ronald Torrance was a witness against Barnett Woodson in 1992. At that time he was 32 years old and had already spent 10 years in jail or prison. He had no education beyond fourth grade. He was in L.A.'s central jail High Power unit at the same time as Woodson. Torrance had been arrested for robbery and aggravated assault during the Rodney King riots. This would be Torrance's third strike, and he was looking at something between 15 years and life.
In October Torrance approached prosectuors in the Woodson case and claimed that Woodson had confessed to him. Prosecutor Jerry Vincent based his case largely on Torrance's testimony. This backfired on Vincent when defense attorney Mickey Haller caught Torrance in a lie. Torrance had seen Woodson's case file including a photo of the victims after they had been pulled from the reservoir. The victims, though Anglo, had very dark skin which is characteristic of being in the water for several days. Torrance could not read and believed the victims were African-Americans.