By Amy Jenson
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — A man wrongfully convicted for murder is free. Corey Atchison was locked up for 28 years for a crime a Tulsa judge says he didn’t commit.
“When he was a little boy, I always told him, ‘Tell the truth,’ and he said, ‘Aunt Linda, I didn’t do it,’” Atchison’s aunt Linda Vann said.
After more than 10,000 days behind bars, Judge Sharon Holmes looked him in the eye, acknowledging what Atchison knew all along: he’s innocent.
“I am feeling blessed; it is unbelievable,” Atchison said.
Maybe the best part of it is having his family.
Atchison’s daughter wasn’t born when he was sent to prison. He finally got to hold her.
It’s his family, he says, that helps take away the sting.
“I can’t hold no grudge. Life is too short,” he said. “I have got some time to spend with this little guy to make him into a man.”
In 1991, Atchison was convicted for murder solely on eye witness testimony.
In 2017, witnesses walked back on their testimony saying they lied after being coerced by police.
Judge Holmes says she found no evidence showing Atchison had anything to do with the crime.
Judge Sharon Holmes said the witnesses in the murder case against Corey Atchison were coerced. Holmes says she was appalled at the tactics used during interviews of the witnesses.
“That is probably the part that got me emotional because she was speaking so much truth, and I can remember all that,” he said.
Through it all, he never wavered from his innocence, and his family stood by his side.
“I knew he didn’t do it. I knew he didn’t do it when it happened because he is a gentle giant,” Ruthella Scott, Atchison’s mom said.
“It is one big mess, just uncalled for really,” Thelma Brown, Atchison’s aunt said.
“He is coming home; he is coming home; he is coming home,” Vann said.
Home… A place he hasn’t seen in 28 years.
Atchison says the first thing he wants to do is eat breakfast food.
I did speak with the prosecutors, and they plan on appealing the judge’s decision.