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Free At Last! Baltimore Man Exonerated Of 1968 Murder Conviction

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—He spent 40 years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. Now a judge has overturned the guilty verdict for a Baltimore City man. Walter Lomax was accused of murdering a store manager back in 1967. Wednesday, those charges were thrown out.

Meghan McCorkell sat down with Lomax Wednesday.

A judge released Walter Lomax back in 2007, but the guilty verdict remained on his record until Wednesday. For the first time in half a century, he walked out of court an innocent man.

"I spent two-thirds of my life in there," he said.

At just 20 years of age, Lomax was thrown in jail and accused of murdering a Brooklyn store manager. Now, at 67, charges against him have been dropped after new evidence proved his innocence.

"This is just truly a great moment," he said.

Lomax sat down with WJZ after the ruling. While he's glad his name is cleared, he worries about the family of the victim.

"What I hope today, that my vindication doesn't cause them more suffering," he said.

Lomax's family has always stood by him.

"I was able to stay strong because I knew he didn't do it," his sister Carolyn told reporters.

He was released in 2006 after a judge commuted his sentence, citing an overwhelming amount of evidence that was never introduced at trial.

Following his release, Lomax has dedicated his life to helping others in his position. He now runs the Maryland Restorative Justice Initiative, fighting to remove the governor from the parole process for those serving life sentences.

"A life sentence is parollable after a period of time. Over the years that got lost and people just felt that if you had a life sentence, that's what it was, life," he said.

Despite being wrongly imprisoned, Lomax says his time behind bars taught him the lessons he needed to fulfill his destiny of helping others. He has become a mentor, helping released prisoners re-enter society.

The victim's family did not attend Wednesday's hearing.

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