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Free At Last: Walter Forbes Released From Jail After 38 years For A Crime He Did Not Commit



63-year old Walter Forbes was convicted on the testimony of a woman who now says she lied. Having spent nearly 40 years behind bars on a crime he did not commit, Forbes has every right to be bitter. But he told the media that he won;t be holding any grudges, and looks forward to living life as a free man.


Forbes was arrested at the age of 25 in connection to an arson fatality, he was sentenced to life without parole. In 1982, Forbes was a young college student looking forward to establishing a career in real estate development.


Forbes' journey to freedom began in 2017, when a key witness against Forbes admitted she lied on the stand due to being threatened. In May, Annice Kennebrew recanted her testimony from the 1983 trial during a virtual evidentiary hearing. A judge then vacated the sentence back in November, and a persecutor opted last week not to pursue a new trial - and thus Walter Forbes was freed from Kinross Correctional Facility. Due to the statute of limitations, Kennerbrew cannot be pursued for perjury.


Forbes had broken up a fight that involved a man named Dennis Hall. Hall was upset that Forbes broke up the fight and decided to shoot him two times in a parking lot the next day. Shortly after being released on bail, Hall died in an arson fire. At the time, Kennebrew (who was a distant relative to the victim) told investigators that she saw Forbes setting the building on fire, and that testimony proved crucial to his conviction.


Forbes was one of three men that Kennerbrew named. Charges were dropped for one of the other men implicated, as he passed a polygraph test.


While behind bars, Forbes spent a majority of his time researching his case. He filed open-records requests, and continued to proclaim his innocence. In 2011, Forbes looked to the University of Michigan Law School that aims to help free the wrongfully convicted. From there he worked alongside Mr. Syed, a recent graduate who would help fight for Forbes’ innocence for the next decade.


Now that he is a free man, he is simply excited for what the future holds. Forbes told NBC "Staying bitter would only rob me of my present and of my future," meaning he has no desire to harp on the past, and is ready for a new future.


Forbes was behind bars for four decades, meaning he has a completely different world to adjust to compared to what he left behind in the early 80s. The world has made far too many technological advancements to count. Being that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, this makes Walter’s acclimation process much more difficult. He spent his first taste of freedom quarantining in a hotel room,


Forbes is set to receive compensation from the state. He is due to be compensated $50,000 for each year he spent in state prison. Due to the extensiveness of this process, he will likely not see any of that money until the middle of the coming year.


©2019 by URBAN NEWS