Jaythan Kendrick had waited 25 years for his murder conviction to be overturned.
Moments after that decision, Kendrick left the courthouse a free man, smiling from behind his mask with followers at his side.
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“I’m very excited to be back because Queens is my home. I’m happy to be free,” said Kendrick.
That moment lasted for years, however, with the help of lawyers, the Innocence Project, and most importantly, his cousin who had never left Kendrick’s side.
The 62-year-old was once a postman in Midtown. He has always preserved his innocence for a crime that occurred 26 years ago this November.
An elderly woman was stabbed to death during a purse theft at the Ravenwood homes in Long Island City.
Investigators looked at a black handbag in Kendrick’s apartment.
At the time, neither DNA nor Kendrick DNA tests were performed. Years later, the lack of DNA revealed that it did not belong to the victim but to Kendrick’s roommate.
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Kendrick was understandably upset with the prosecutor at the time.
“He knew I was innocent and he did this to go up the ladder,” he said.
New witnesses were also introduced. Lawyers say the only witness 25 years ago was a 10-year-old who generally referred to Kendrick as a suspect.
The same witness later changed his testimony.
“After 25 years, I want to thank him for coming up and telling the truth because he didn’t have to. He could have stayed with what he said,” said Kendrick.
So many people are in his corner now, doing the right thing and enabling this man to start a new life.
“I was arrested 26 years ago so I’m looking forward to Turkey now,” said Kendrick.
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