Chicago Man Who Was In Prison For 12 Years Now Free After Discovering Testimony Was Given By Legally Blind Man

Chicago Man Who Was In Prison For 12 Years Now Free After Discovering Testimony Was Given By Legally Blind Man

Darien Harris was sentenced to 76 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

A Chicago man who has been in prison for 12 years is finally free after it was discovered that the testimony that put him away was from someone who was legally blind.

According to CBS News Chicago, Darien Harris’ murder conviction has been vacated, after he was convicted of killing a man at a Woodlawn gas station in 2011.

He was sentenced to 76 years in prison in 2014. The 30-year-old, who was 18 when sentenced, spent 12 years in prison after he was found guilty in the fatal shooting of 23-year-old Rondell Moore. After being arrested, Harris was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and aggravated battery with a firearm.

Prosecutors charged the then-high school senior in an ambush-style shooting that left Moore dead and another person seriously injured. Harris has always maintained his innocence, stating that he was watching the NBA finals between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. He was found guilty in 2014 and was given a prison sentence of 76 years.

Harris’s conviction was overturned on Dec. 5 by a Cook County judge, but prosecutors stated they were going to retry him on the charge. The judge vacated the conviction when it was discovered by the defense team that the main witness to the murder was legally blind.

On Tuesday morning, prosecutors agreed, after reviewing the case, to drop all charges. He was officially released on Dec. 19.

“These 12 1/2 years of being gone, it wasn’t easy at all,” Harris said after being freed. “But I fought, and now I’m here.”

“I fought. Keep on fighting, everybody. Just keep on fighting – never give up.”

Harris’s attorney, Lauren Myerscough-Mueller, remarked that they were all “thrilled” that the charges were dropped by prosecutors. He went home with his wife and mother, Nakesha Harris.

“This is the best Christmas gift ever,” said Nakesha. “I feel like I’m dreaming. It doesn’t feel real. I guess once I hold him in my arms, it’ll be real.”

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