DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A Detroit man in prison for 20 years has walked to freedom, two days after a judge set aside his murder conviction.

A donor posted much of the $25,000 bond needed to get 44-year-old Lamarr Monson out of jail Wednesday. His second-degree murder conviction was thrown out this week based on new evidence presented by students and professors at University of Michigan law school.

Monson told reporters it’s a “blessing.”

Meanwhile, prosecutors could appeal, go to a second trial or drop the murder case against Monson in the bludgeoning and stabbing death of 12-year-old Christina Brown.

In 1996 Monson’s attorneys say he discovered Brown’s bloody body in the apartment where they’d been selling drugs. He called 911 and asked for help.

Later, he ended up signing a confession saying he had stabbed her to death; but Monson’s said police tricked him into doing so.

The law school’s Innocence Clinic presented fingerprints of another man on a bloody toilet tank lid which was used to bludgeon the victim. A witness with crucial information also stepped forward, saying it was someone else who killed the preteen in a drug deal gone bad.

“The jury will have to hear this fingerprint evidence,” said former WXYZ reporter Bill Proctor, who has been assisting the clinic with the case.

“(Also) the evidence of a woman who says her boyfriend did the murder and not Lamarr Monson, and that the confession that helped to send Lamarr Monson to prison was coerced, and was essentially bad actions by the Detroit Police Department.”

Monson admits he had been dealing drugs with Brown, whom he allegedly thought was older. He has said many times that he was not responsible for her death.

A retrial is scheduled for April, unless Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy decides the case cannot be won in light of the new evidence.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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