Media, Pa. (CBS) — Sixty-four-year-old Leroy Evans is a free man after four decades in prison for a crime he says he didn’t commit. Evans was released from prison Friday afternoon.
Cheers and excitement broke out outside the courthouse in Delaware County as friends and family waited to get a glimpse of their freed loved one.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s Conviction Integrity Section announced the release of Evans, who served 41 years in prison for first-degree murder.
The Delaware County man was convicted of the 1981 murder of Emily Leo, but after a thorough investigation of the case that began in 2021, Evan’s co-defendant’s testimony was found unreliable.
Evans was given a new hearing at the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas on Friday, where he pleaded to third-degree murder and time served, allowing him to walk out of prison a free man.
“Enjoyable,” said. “Enjoyable with family members. Enjoyable.”
“We’ve been working many years to have this day come to fruition,” Arnold Jones with the Delaware County Black Caucus said, “and while it was certainly delayed, we can now say it was not justice denied.”
The Attorney General’s Office Conviction Integrity Section reviews credible claims of innocence.
Evans could not be fully exonerated in the murder based on the evidence presented, but he will now begin to work his way back into society as a free man.