Man wrongly imprisoned released after 19 years
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A former Los Angeles gang member imprisoned for 19 years for a murder he didn't commit has been exonerated and set free.
John Edward Smith walked out of a Los Angeles County jail on Monday night and was greeted by a host of TV cameras. He says he's not bitter and that he is looking forward to going home and seeing his grandmother.
He left wearing glasses and a tan striped polo shirt, hours after he appeared at a hearing in jail clothes.
Earlier Monday, a judge vacated Smith's conviction for murder and attempted murder in a gang-related drive-by shooting. Prosecutors said they believe the only witness lied at trial.
Smith went to prison when he was 18 and he is now 37.
Pop star Chris Brown were among the supporters who cheered and applauded in the courtroom after Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg announced her decision. Brown was in same courtroom for his probation hearing involving the 2009 beating of his then-girlfriend Rihanna.