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Texas judge exonerates man wrongly imprisoned for 19 years

FILE - In this May 17, 2016 file photo, John Nolley smiles as he leaves the courtroom following his release from custody, at the 213th District Court, in Fort Worth, Texas. A Texas judge has signed an order that exonerates a man who spent 19 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murder. The ruling Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018, by state District Judge Louis Sturns in Fort Worth Nolley now is declared innocent in the 1996 slaying of Sharon McLane. The ruling makes Nolley eligible for state compensation. (Paul Moseley /Star-Telegram via AP File)

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A Texas judge has signed an order that exonerates a man who spent 19 years in prison after being wrongly convicted of murder.

The Wednesday ruling means 44-year-old John Earl Nolley has been declared innocent in the 1996 slaying of Sharon McLane. The order also makes Nolley eligible for state compensation.

State District Judge Louis Sturns apologized to Nolley for the state’s actions.

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned Nolley’s conviction in May , leading to Wednesday’s ruling.

Nolley was freed in 2016 after a witness admitted he lied and a bloody palm print at the crime scene was linked to another person.

The witness who lied was a jailhouse informant. The case contributed to changes in Texas law that placed more controls on testimony provided by informants.

Copyright © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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