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Michigan man cleared of 3 murders after 16 years in prison

June 25, 2021 GMT
In this photo provided by WMU-Cooley Law School Corey McCall smiles after he was released from a state prison in Ionia, Mich., on Friday, June 25, 2021. McCall, serving a life sentence, was released from prison Friday after 16 years, following the dismissal of three murder convictions in southwestern Michigan. Authorities said new evidence cleared McCall in three fatal shootings in Benton Harbor in 2005. (WMU-Cooley Law School via AP)
In this photo provided by WMU-Cooley Law School Corey McCall smiles after he was released from a state prison in Ionia, Mich., on Friday, June 25, 2021. McCall, serving a life sentence, was released from prison Friday after 16 years, following the dismissal of three murder convictions in southwestern Michigan. Authorities said new evidence cleared McCall in three fatal shootings in Benton Harbor in 2005. (WMU-Cooley Law School via AP)

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan man walked free Friday after serving 16 years of a life prison sentence, following the dismissal of three murder convictions.

A new investigation cleared Corey McCall of having had any role in the fatal shootings of three people, including a 12-year-old boy, at a Benton Harbor home in 2005, the attorney general’s office said.

Fresh evidence, including Walmart records, corroborated McCall’s claim that he was not at the scene, Attorney General Dana Nessel said.

“I feel good, man. It’s been a long time. It’s been hard, and I’m glad I’m here,” McCall, 39, said after he left a prison in Ionia.

Perpetrators of the crime, including gunman Andrew “Pumpkin” Miller, knew McCall was innocent but waited years to disclose it, said Berrien County prosecutor Steve Pierangeli, who was not in office at the time of the trial.

“There are no words to meet the moment,” Pierangeli told McCall. “It is tragic that you served time for this offense.”

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Three people were shot in the head during a home invasion. McCall was not accused of being the shooter, but he was identified by a survivor as someone who was armed and in the house.

Judge Angela Pasula, who presided over McCall’s trial, threw out the convictions Friday.

The case was reexamined by Nessel’s conviction integrity unit and the WMU-Cooley Law School Innocence Project.

McCall could be eligible for $50,000 from the state for every year spent in prison.

He said he prayed and worked to “stay out of harm’s way” while locked up.

“You can’t be angry. You can’t hang on to a grudge,” McCall said when asked about his calm demeanor, moments after gaining his freedom. “You’ve got to live and let go.”