By ED WHITE/Associated Press

DETROIT (AP) – A Detroit man whose 1972 murder conviction was thrown out has been released from prison while prosecutors appeal a decision that grants him a new trial.

Richard Phillips’ conviction was erased in August after 45 years. But the 71-year-old had remained in custody until a judge this week said he could be released with an electronic tether.

Phillips pointed to the sky Thursday as he left a Detroit-area jail. The temperature was 22 degrees (-5.56 Celsius), but he says he would have walked in his bare feet. Phillips says, “It’s already a merry Christmas.”

He has long declared his innocence in the fatal shooting of Gregory Harris. In 2014, University of Michigan law school learned that a co-defendant said Phillips had no role. The disclosure had been made to the Michigan parole board.

 

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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