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Retrial for man in infamous 1998 Louisiana murder case ends in manslaughter plea

It's a massive step in the bizarre case of Michael Wearry, who has been in prison since 1999 for a murder conviction that the U.S. Supreme Court called "...a house of cards."

A former death row inmate who maintained he was innocent in the brutal killing of a Livingston Parish pizza delivery boy in 1998 may soon get out of prison.

Michael Wearry pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Wednesday in the retrial for the notorious killing of 16-year old Eric Walber. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, with credit given for the more than 20 years already served. 

Wearry was on death row until the U.S. Supreme court threw out his conviction two years ago.

You can read the full WWL-TV investigation into the 20-year saga of Wearry's fight for freedom here.

RELATED: DA on hot seat, accused of rigging case against former death row inmate

The manslaughter plea comes as a compromise on both sides, with defense attorneys maintaining Wearry's complete innocence as 21st Judicial District Attorney Scott Perrillioux remained determined to keep the inmate in prison for life. 

While eligibility for parole is ultimately up to the Louisiana Department of Corrections, sources said Wearry is likely to be released early for good behavior. 

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