Thursday 21 March 2024

REPORT: Authorities Release Man Never Convicted Of Crime After Waiting In Jail For Over 10 Years

 Maurice Jimmerson was released Wednesday by Georgian authorities on a plea deal after spending over ten years of his life locked up without a conviction, Atlanta News First reported.

Georgian police arrested Jimmerson and four other suspects in relation to the murder of two persons back in May 2013, the outlet reported

While nearly all of the suspects were acquitted by juries years previously, Jimmerson remained locked up without trial and without an attorney, the outlet reported. Andrew Fleischman reportedly took up Jimmerson’s case pro bono after hearing about the case through an investigation by Atlanta News First back in 2023.

“You don’t need to have a law degree to know something’s wrong is here,” Fleischman told the outlet. “We should not punish people until we’ve proven they’ve committed a crime.”

Two months after Fleischman took the case, Jimmerson went to court, resulting in a mistrial due to the jury being unable to deliver a verdict, Atlanta News First reported. He was reportedly returned to jail. Jimmerson’s release Wednesday was part of a negotiated plea deal where he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and possession of a firearm in exchange for being sentenced to 30 years of probation with 11 years already counted as served, according to the outlet.

Jimmerson also has 45 days to find a new home due to being forced to relocate as part of the plea agreement, Atlanta News First reported. He was reportedly facing the possibility of spending 235 years in prison from the original charges pressed against him. Jimmerson, however, still asserts his innocence and has credited Atlanta News First for bringing the needed attention to his case for his release.

Andrew Fleischman viewed his client’s release as cause for celebration. “This was my very first murder trial as first chair. I cannot tell you how much sleep I lost over it. I am so thrilled he got this result,” he tweeted.

Jimmerson’s time in prison was one of longest lasting detentions prior to trial in U.S. history, according to Atlanta News First.

Andy Pierrotti, a reporter for the outlet, tweeted a video of Jimmerson walking out of prison and being greeted by his family.

“It’s their [Jimmerson and his daughter’s] first hug in more than a decade,” Pierrotti noted in his tweet.

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