PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A man who spent 18 years in prison is now free.
Terrell Johnson was released Thursday evening from the Allegheny County Jail.
He had been serving a life sentence in the 1994 murder of a Hazelwood woman; but on Wednesday, a jury found him not guilty during a retrial.
KDKA’s Harold Hayes reports:
A new witness came forward claiming a key witness in the first trial was lying.
Johnson tearfully hugged his family and close friends as he walked out of jail. His release could not happen until paperwork from the judge went to the state and the county jail.
“The system’s flawed,” Johnson told KDKA-TV. “I’m going to tell y’all that from the door. It should have never took this long. Should have never took this long.
KDKA’s Kimberly Gill reports:
“The community had already spoken and let the district attorney and everybody know that they got the wrong person,” he added. “That should have been enough, but yet here we are 17 years later, got these cameras all in my face and I got to explain this – y’all know this already. The lady lied.”
Johnson arrived back at his home in Hazelwood Thursday night. He and his wife are crediting their faith for getting them through the past 18 years.
“She believed. Even in times when I got weak, she encouraged me,” Johnson said of his wife.
“Jesus is the only reason that I’m standing here right now,” he added. “We thankful for the work that he’s done because we prayed all the way through this situation.”
KDKA’s Heather Abraham reports: