LA man who was wrongfully convicted of robbery set free after 7 years in prison

Derrick Harris of Los Angeles is finally free after spending seven years behind bars for an armed robbery he didn't commit.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Derrick Harris of Los Angeles is finally free after spending seven years behind bars for an armed robbery he didn't commit.

He walked out of a L.A. courthouse with his 9-year-old son Tuesday.

"Free. I'm finally free and I can be with my family and my son," said Harris.

During his hearing he had a smile behind his mask as he heard the judge's words. He was wrongly convicted of armed robbery at age 22. Now seven years later, Harris is exonerated.

"It's been a long time coming," said Harris.

It all started back in 2013 when Harris was identified as the suspect along with a co-defendant. Over the next few years, that co-defendant and another individual admitted they had committed the crime and that Harris was not involved.

L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey apologized for what happened.

"We must be willing as prosecutors to take action and to correct mistakes when they occur as we did in this case. Mr. Harris I am sorry for the role my office played in your wrongful conviction," said Lacey as Harris stood next to her.

Lacey says her Conviction Review Unit worked on to re-open the case. Attorneys for the California Innocence Project got involved and say the victim in the case misidentified Harris.

"His case hinged on the victim's eyewitness ID and we know that that is one of the leading causes of wrongful convictions," Michael Semanchik from the California Innocence Project said.

Harris says his family never gave up and worked with the D.A.'s office to get him out of prison.

"I'm just blessed that all the people in the Conviction Review Unit that helped with my case and believed in me," said Harris.

Harris says despite what happened he is not bitter. And now he just wants to spend time with his family and make up for all the things he missed over the last seven years.
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