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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) –
A Louisville man is free after spending 14 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Authorities say new evidence left them no choice but to exonerate Kerry Porter.
Porter was sentenced to 60 years for the murder of Tyrone Camp. Camp was found shot to death outside of his truck in 1996. There have always been doubts about the conviction; doubts that proved to be accurate.
"It is the job of this office to do justice, and I think that's what we're doing here today," said Commonwealth's Attorney David Stengel.
Stengel admitted the state got it wrong, and filed a motion to vacate the conviction and immediately release Porter.
"I know it took a long time, but we're doing the right thing here and I hope when he gets out, he turns over a new leaf," he said.
Stengel says two key developments contributed to the decision. First, LMPD detectives say they 'acquired a statement which clearly implicates a different person in the murder' in 2009. Secondly, recent DNA testing of the murder weapon showed no trace of Porter's DNA.
"I was convinced of Mr. Porter's innocence the first time I met with them after having reviewed his case file. That doesn't happen every time," said the Kentucky Innocence Project's Melanie Lowe.
Lowe and the Innocence Project have been working on the case for more than two years. She was the one who told Porter the good news Monday.
"I know he was virtually speechless at that time. I think he's very nervous about being back in the world after 14 years of incarceration," she said.
14 years Kerry Porter can never get back, but Lowe says he has an opportunity others in similar situations never get.
"We're just happy this day is here because for some people it just doesn't happen," she said.
Overturning Porter's conviction means the case has been re-opened. Authorities say they have several suspects, but wouldn't say whether or not they expect to make an arrest anytime soon.