Valentino Dixon spent 27 years in prison after being convicted of a murder he did not commit.
In August of 1991, 17-year-old Torriano Jackson was killed, and Dixon was charged and convicted of Jackson’s death.
Over the years, Dixon claimed numerous times that he had been wrongfully convicted.
On Wednesday, the man who actually shot Jackson confessed to the killing.
Lamar Scott, 46, pleaded guilty. He was already in custody on an unrelated shooting.
In court, Scott said ““I grabbed the gun from under the bench, switched it to automatic, all the bullets shot out. Unfortunately, Torriano died.”
Scott said he intended to kill Jackson.
Barbara Dixon, Valentino’s mother says she and her son never gave up hope that he would be granted his freedom.
“We talked together, we prayed together, we strategized.”
Valentino Dixon said, “My mom has been there since day one. She’s been there, side-by-side. She’s the best mother in the world.”
For 27 years, they both maintained, Dixon did not shoot Jackson outside a Louie’s Hot Dog in 1991.
But it was Lamar Scott, who set him free Wednesday by confessing to being the one who shot Jackson.
Both were at a loud street party with underage drinking on an August night in 1991, when a fistfight turned to gunfire.
Scott, who faces up to 50 years in prison for a different shooting, told Judge Susan Eagan, his first reaction was to find the gun Dixon had given him.
District Attorney John Flynn said, “Mr. Dixon brought the gun to the fight. It was Mr. Dixon’s gun. He is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.”
Thomas Eoannou, Lamarr Scott’s Attorney said, “They righted a wrong today. Valentino Dixon should be released. My client will get credit back to the time that he originally confessed, and today the system finally worked.”
Dixon, 48, says he has a lot of life to live. He also wants to work to help others who have been wrongfully convicted
He said, “I have the knowledge and the experience to be able to help change the system.”
As Dixon was exonerated, there were shouts and applause in the courtroom.