PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A man who spent nearly 25 years in prison walked out as a free man Wednesday after a judge overturned his murder convictions.
Anthony Kyles, 54, left the Carson City Correctional Facility after an order from Oakland County Circuit Judge Daniel O’Brien threw out the convictions earlier in the day.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed the convictions should be overturned.
Kyles, 54, has always maintained his innocence.
“This is an overwhelming day,” Kyles told the Detroit Free Press. “I’m happy and I’m excited about finally being out.”
In 1997, a jury convicted Kyles of four counts of second-degree murder. The prosecution’s theory was Kyles set a house on fire by throwing a Molotov cocktail at it, killing three children and their father. The witness has since recanted, saying he lied to the jury.
The Conviction Integrity Unit at the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office reviewed Kyles’ case and determined he was wrongfully convicted.
“We are excited that this day has finally come for Mr. Kyles,” said his attorney Imran Syed, co-director of the Michigan Innocence Clinic. “This fire was a tragic accident. This should have been clear to investigators from day one, but they unfortunately relied on junk science and other flawed evidence, and that reliance cost Mr. Kyles 25 years of his life.”