In the nine months since his wrongful arrest for murder, Kenny Woods has tried fruitlessly to get a job. Even though the real culprit confessed and already has been sentenced, Woods can't convince skeptical employers to hire someone with a murder charge on his record.
After the Daily News chronicled his plight on Thursday, our readers sprang to action.
Four lawyers offered to work for free to help Woods, 22, a West Philadelphia father of two, clear the charge from his record.
The owner of a truck-driving school offered to waive the $4,000 tuition, pending a positive meet-and-greet, to teach Woods how to drive a big rig and get his commercial driver's license.
A Postal Service employee sent Woods an application for an opening for mechanics to service mail machines and vehicles. She also sent a heads-up about an upcoming job fair in West Philadelphia.
The owner of a fire- and emergency-restoration company also called to see if Woods would be interested in working for him. "I believe in second chances," said Jason Kluska, owner of Guardian Restoration.
And even Mayor Nutter asked for Woods' phone number.
"The mayor wants to see if he can give him a helping hand," spokesman Mark McDonald said.
Woods accepted the offers yesterday with promises to follow up on each, overwhelmed but gratified at the generosity of strangers.
Woods was wrongly identified last Sept. 29 as the drunk, police-fleeing car thief who smashed into Villanova University senior Daniel Giletta's car, killing him and critically injuring his roommate, Frank Patrick DiChiara.
A day after Woods' arrest, Donnie Sayers confessed that he was the deadly driver, and police swapped Sayers for Woods as the defendant. Sayers pleaded guilty in May and was sentenced to 13 to 26 years in prison.