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After 21 years, 12 days behind bars for murder, Detroit man walks free

Feb 1, 2017

A Detroit man convicted of murder more than 20 years ago walked free on Wednesday.

A Wayne County judge overturned Lamarr Monson’s conviction for killing a 12-year-old girl earlier this week.

That was after years of legal and investigative work unearthed new eyewitness testimony and fingerprint evidence pointing to another killer.

Monson confessed to killing Christina Brown. But he later insisted he was tricked into confessing by Detroit police, and fought for years to have his conviction overturned.

Monson left the Wayne County jail hugging his mother, Delores. He called his release “an answered prayer.”

"I've been dreaming about this time, just to hug my mom, to let me be free, to have my name be cleared."

“It’s surreal for me right. It’s just surreal,” Monson said. “I’ve been dreaming about this time, just to hug my mom, to let me be free, to have my name be cleared. And I’m just thankful with this process being at this point.”

Delores Monson knew exactly how long her son had been behind bars: 21 years, 12 days. She thanked everyone who helped free him.

“Everybody who prayed for us, who gave money for us, who did not know us, we’re thankful and we’re grateful,” she said.

After Monson’s conviction was overturned this week, an online fundraiser helped raise $25,000 to free him on bond.

Monson is set to be re-tried starting March 1. But his lawyers with the University of Michigan Innocence Clinic hope Wayne County prosecutors will dismiss the charges.

In the meantime, Monson is confident he will remain free. “This has all been set up by God,” he said.

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