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L.A. Man's Murder Conviction Overturned After 11 Years in Prison

(Photo by sergign via Shutterstock.)
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An L.A. man walked free Friday, 11 years after he was convicted of a murder he didn't commit.

DeAndre Howard, 31, got picked up for murder in 2002 after two people were shot outside a convenience store at 42nd and Hoover. One was killed.

The L.A. Times reports that while Howard had been in trouble with the law before his arrest, he has always maintained that he was innocent. The main evidence for his conviction at trial was eyewitness testimony. Eyewitnesses are often unreliable, and one of the two witnesses who fingered Howard later recanted - plus, the surviving victim said Howard didn't shoot him.

Prosecutors were apparently ambivalent about their case, offering Howard a plea deal to get out of prison by Thanksgiving.

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But Howard didn't want to compromise: the case went to a new trial. Howard was acquitted and he walked out of the courtroom free on Friday.

"There's nothing that an attorney or any of us can do to get back the 11 years of his life that were lost to this case," one of Howard's public defenders, Jennifer Turner, told the Times. "But aside from that, this was the most justice we could hope for."

Howard walked free Friday in a jumpsuit, borrowed a cell phone and called his cousin to get picked up. He's celebrating Christmas at his aunt's house in Torrance.

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