Malagie Conteh has been reunited with his loved ones at his Arlington home. He was only days away from being deported to his country as a result of his conviction.
ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA)-After being wrongfully convicted for a crime he did not commit, 22-year old Sierra Leone native Malagie Conteh has been reunited with his loved ones at his Arlington home. He was only days away from being deported to his country as a result of his conviction.
The judges ruling overturned the conviction, and his deportation process has come to halt according to his lawyers.
Conteh said, "I know it's been a long ride for me, but im thankful and I thank God", about his release.
It was back in 2009 that Conteh was accused of an armed robbery at a Linconia shopping center. The victim in that reported crime had seen Conteh riding his bicycle near the scene after the crime and pointed him out to police as the assailant. Although, he claimed he was coming from a friends house officers arrested Conteh, and charged him. He would later be convicted and sent off to prison.
While in prison lawyers with the McGuire Woods law firm, and the Innocence Project got wind of his case and took his fight on pro-bono.
Lawyers where able to prove his alibi, show that there was lack of evidence, and highlight sloppy work on the side of prosecutors.
Attorney's say the prosecution failed to disclose the criminal background the alleged victim and sole witness in the robbery had.
That knowledge according to the judge would have raise credibility issues, and therefore his testimony may have been thrown out.
Instead, it wasn't until the appeal by Innocence Project and McGuire Woods lawyers that those points were brought up and re-considered by the judge.
Eventually a Fairfax County judge ruled in favor of the appeal, and threw out Conteh's conviction.
His attorney, Anand Ramana said "For Malagie it's important because he spent 2 years in jail for something he just didn't do."
Malagie says he isn't upset, just glad that it all worked out in the end. Now he hopes to continue his education and begin his college career.