- David Bryant was released yesterday afternoon
- A judge ruled that he did not receive a fair trial into the 1975 killing
- ‘I just wanna go to church’ he said
By ANTHONY BOND
PUBLISHED: 12:26 EST, 12 April 2013 | UPDATED: 20:20 EST, 12 April 2013
A man jailed for almost 40 years for the murder of an 8-year-old girl has been dramatically freed from prison after a judge ruled he did not receive a fair trial.
David Bryant was released yesterday afternoon after a New York Bronx judge ruled that his defense during the trial into the 1975 killing had been flawed.
After being told he was a free man, Bryant shouted out cries of joy and revealed how his parents never believed he was innocent.
According to the New York Post, he tearfully said outside court: ‘I just wanna go to church and get on my knees and pray for my mother and father because they never believed me.
‘I wish they were alive today so that I could tell them that I didn’t do it.’
The New York Times reports the judge found the failure of Bryant’s attorney to consult with a blood and semen testing expert deprived him of a fair trial.
The then-18-year-old Bryant was arrested less than a day after the discovery of New York City girl Karen Smith’s body in the stairwell of an apartment house. She’d been raped, beaten and stabbed.
A spokesman for the Bronx district attorney’s office says no decision has been made on appealing the judge’s ruling.
Bryant was freed after the advocacy group, The Centurion Ministries, filed a motion because it believed Bryant was wrongfully convicted.
It claimed he received poor counsel because Bryant’s court-appointed lawyer did no question semen and blood evidence which was picked up at the scene of the crime.
It was discovered that Bryant’s blood type did not match semen found at the scene where the youngster was killed.
After being left shocked by the decision, Bryant realised he would quickly need to come to terms with how the world has changed during his time in prison.
He said: ‘You come out and you see all the changes and you don’t know if you’re going to make the adaptations to this new life.’
To celebrate his new-found freedom, Bryant said he wanted a box of Kentucky Fried Chicken, biscuits, Dunkin’ Donuts and Pepsi.