PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A wrongly convicted man is now free after spending 27 years in prison. Willie Veasy was surrounded by family when he was released on Wednesday afternoon.
A judge overturned his conviction after concerns over the case came to light. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the judge told the 54-year-old “You’re a free man,” as a crowd in courtroom erupted in applause.
“I didn’t see it coming but I believed this day would come, I really did. I was able to hold on to my sanity for years and with family like this, that’s all you need,” Veasy said.
A jury convicted Veasy in a North Philadelphia robbery and double shooting that resulted in the death of John Lewis.
Prosecutors dropped the charges after they say retired homicide detectives coerced Veasy into signing a handwritten confession.
During the original trial, the defense submitted evidence that Veasy was working as a dishwasher miles away from the murder scene.