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Wrongly Accused Man Who Spent 17 Years In Prison Spends First Christmas Home With Family

December 28, 2014  |  Posted by: JammedUp
Wrongly Accused Man Who Spent 17 Years In Prison Spends First Christmas Home With Family Image courtesy of wwltv.com

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He spent 17 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit, but this year DNA evidence exonerated Nathan Brown, 40, of the attempted rape conviction of a Metairie woman.

For the first time in 17 years, Brown is celebrating Christmas a free man.

“It’s a wonderful feeling being with my friends and my family and my fiancée,” Brown said. “My family is going to be here and her family is going to be here and it will give them a chance to meet. Everything is going wonderfully.”

It is all thanks to the non-profit The Innocence Project, which believed Brown when he proclaimed his innocence.

After taking on his case, the organization used DNA evidence to prove he was wrongfully convicted of the attempted rape of a Metairie woman at her apartment complex back in 1997.

However, Brown said even in those darkest moments, he never lost hope that his day would come.

“I was always looking for a way out and I always believed that someday I would be home before the day on the rap sheet,” Brown said.

Six months ago, Brown walked out of prison and was reunited with his family and the grandson he’d never met.

Brown’s fiancée and daughter say having him home for Christmas is the best present they could have ever hoped for.

“I’m happy we’re building memories together, us staying in the same household and us having are arguments,” says Brown’s daughter Celene Brady. “I’m happy he is here.”

“It’s the best day,” said Brown’s fiancée Deshorn Simon. “I’m very happy today that he is here.”

This Christmas is also a bittersweet day for Brown and his family.

“It’s a sweet day because I am free and it’s Christmas and I’m with my family, but it’s a bitter day because I wasn’t able to do and buy the things I wanted to buy and get the presents I wanted to get,” says Brown.

“Me and my daddy have a great bond together and I’m happy he’s home to spend time with his grandkids,” says Brady. “I wish he was here to walk me down the aisle and see me have my first child.”

Instead of dwelling on the past, Brown and his family say they are just looking forward to making new memories for years to come.

Back in September a Jefferson Parish judge ordered the state to pay Brown $330,000. It’s the maximum Louisiana allows victims to receive from its wrongful conviction compensation fund.

From WLTV.com

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