After 20 years, wrongfully committed man sees freedom


Posted on February 5, 2014 at 7:09 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 5 at 9:16 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @taniadall

NEW ORLEANS -- Hope and support from loved ones is what kept Jerome Morgan positive while behind bars in Angola.

Back in May 1993, Morgan was a guest at a Sweet Sixteen party in New Orleans East when gunfire erupted, killing one person and injuring two others.

Eyewitness News archive video shows the 17-year-old at the time escorted by law enforcement officers. The teenager would be convicted of the crime.

Attorneys with innocence project New Orleans took up the case 11 years ago after noticing that evidence and witness testimony against Morgan didn't add up.

Last month a judge overturned Morgan's conviction, but his attorney said the state could still file an appeal in this case.

After spending almost 20 years behind bars in Angola, the teen who grew up in Pontchartrain Park, now a man, was released from prison last night.

Morgan said he's not angry and is only focused on the future.

"I don't take it as a personal attack. It just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and the situation occurred. That's one of the reasons I don't have any anger or bitter feelings. I don't take it personally in that sense that I was targeted specifically," he said.

“We very much hope that the District Attorney's Office in this case won't do this and see that correcting a past injustice is just as important as prosecuting crimes going forward,” said Emily Maw, Morgan’s attorney.

Morgan said his top priority now is finding a job. He learned barber shop skills behind bars and he'd like pursue a career in graphic design.