After spending 43 years behind bars for a crime he said he didn’t commit, a Missouri man’s conviction has been set aside.
Senior Judge James Welsh filed his ruling Tuesday morning to set aside the conviction of 62-year-old Kevin Strickland, who served 43 years at Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri, after he was convicted of one count of capital murder and two counts of second-degree murder in a triple homicide. He received a 50-year life sentence without the possibility for parole for a crime he maintained he wasn’t involved in.
Strickland, from a wheelchair, spoke shortly after he was released from jail Tuesday afternoon and said he’s thankful for his attorneys and everyone who listened to him over the years while he maintained his innocence.
All criminal counts against Strickland were dismissed. His release makes his confinement the longest wrongful imprisonment in Missouri history and one of the longest in the nation, according to The National Registry of Exonerations.
“Still in disbelief,” Strickland said. “I didn’t think this day would come.”
Strickland said he found out the news of his release through a breaking news report that interrupted the soap opera he was watching.