DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - After spending more than 30 years in prison, Benjamine Spencer has been released for wrongful conviction after a hearing in Dallas County Friday.
A judge accepted a finding of fact from the Dallas County District Attorney's Office, which led to Spencer's release.
Spencer received a life sentence in a robbery case that left a man dead. The district attorney's office said the initial case against Spencer was tainted.
After a year of investigation by the district attorney, there was little evidence in the integrity of the conviction of Spencer.
In 1987, the murder of a Dallas clothing company executive drew headlines. For years, Spencer claimed innocence despite testimony from witnesses.
On Thursday, the district attorney's office said reward money apparently paid by the late Ross Perot to a woman deemed as the star witness was not revealed and it led to Spencer's wrongful conviction.
"The star witness testified that she didn't receive reward money, or wasn't expecting to receive reward money. Another witness claimed he saw Spencer getting out of the victim's vehicle that night, said he was put up to testify that by the star witness," Cynthia Garza of the Dallas County District Attorney's Office said.
Spencer was met by media and supporters after he walked out of Lew Sterrett Justice Center in Dallas.
"I'm looking forward to using this moment to reconnect with my family and trying to re-acclimate myself into freedom. And again, I appreciate everybody for their support. I can't say enough about the love shown to me over the years and I can't thank you enough for this," Spencer said.
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