FORT WORTH, Texas - A man convicted of murder nearly 20 years ago was released from prison Tuesday after new evidence showed he didn't commit the crime.
John Nolley's attorneys admit he was no saint at the time Sharon McLane died. He did have a prior criminal record, but they said he wasn’t a murderer.
The now 42-year-old was convicted in 1998 for McLane’s murder. She was stabbed 57 times inside her Bedford apartment.
The conviction was based on testimony from a jailhouse snitch who got probation for his testimony. According to court documents filed by Nolley’s attorneys, the snitch lied.
New evidence shows that a bloody palm print found at the scene of the crime belonged to someone else.
The Innocence Project and the Tarrant County District Attorney’s own conviction integrity unit have been looking into the case and the new claims.
“I believe God allows things for a reason. I’ve come out a lot stronger.” said Nolley. “The love that Christ dwells in me compels me to love and understand the position the state was in back then.”
Nolley’s attorneys asked for his release during a hearing Tuesday morning. The judge agreed, but that does not mean Nolley was exonerated. That is an entirely different process that could take months or years.
"It's overwhelming,” said Nolley. “Too many emotions to focus or channel in on one. I've been blessed. I have my family with me and everything that I love. It's time to move on.”
McLane's murder remains unsolved.