A Los Angeles man is finally free after spending more than a decade in prison for a crime he did not commit. DeAndre Howard spent years fighting for his innocence after being convicted of murder.
A federal judge finally granted him an appeal.
He could plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter and get out in time for a Thanksgiving dinner with his family. Or he could go back to trial and risk spending the rest of his life in prison.
He chose trial. That felt final. It felt right. “There was no need to compromise your integrity just so you can go free,” he said. “I felt that’s something you have to hold firm to even if your life is on the line.”
On July 8, an employee at a local liquor store had just started his break when her thought he heard firecrackers. He turned and saw a man firing at two others, killing them. The shooter got back into a white vehicle and drove off according to court documents.
Howard was pinned as the shooter, but has maintained innocence since being charged. He was sentenced to 75 years to life, plus a consecutive life term. Howard filed a series of appeals based on his belief that the trial lawyer didn’t properly defend him.
On Friday after 11 years in prison, Howard, 31 was acquitted for the crime by a jury.
We wish DeAndre the best.
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