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Man Jailed For 20 Years Freed For Wrongful Conviction: 'They Knew It Wasn't Me'

The man he went to jail for killing even said before he died that he was shot to death by a Hispanic man. That key piece of evidence never made it to trial.

By Gina Tron

On Monday, a man from the Bronx was freed from prison after being wrongfully convicted and after having spent decades in a jail cell for a murder he didn’t commit.

Larry McKee, now 47, was sentenced to prison for 24 years to life back in 1997 after a jury convicted him of second-degree murder for the shooting death of Theodore Vance.

According to PIX11, as Vance died he explained that a Hispanic man shot him. Several witnesses to the crime scene also said the shooter was Hispanic.

McKee is not Hispanic.

For some horrible reason, that small but extremely important detail never made it to McKee’s trial. Instead, the jury decided he killed Vance. According to NBC New York, McKee's attorney Michael Talassazan approached the Bronx District Attorney's Conviction Integrity Unit six months ago and asked them to take another look at the case. They did, and that resulted in McKee’s long-awaited freedom.

Now, a courtroom has erupted in applause and cheers when McKee’s conviction was overturned.

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said in a statement: “Our Conviction Integrity Unit has corrected a wrong from the past. We will never stop in our quest to ensure fairness and integrity in the criminal justice system.”

McKee is glad to finally be out of jail but he is angry at what happened to him.

"I can say now that I am satisfied, but I am not happy at all," he said, according to PIX11. "How they knew from the beginning, they knew it wasn't me."

His family waited outside to courtroom to support their loved one. McKee got to meet one of his young nieces for the first time outside the courtroom on Monday.

"I am ecstatic for my client. There was some degree of justice here, although it was delayed," McKee’s attorney Michael Talassazan said.

[Photo: Department of Corrections] 

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