A man who has spent 16 years in prison was released and granted a new trial Thursday after DNA testing cast doubt on his conviction for a 1991 murder.
“Freedom. Freedom. It feels so good,” Alfred Swinton said as he walked out of court Thursday after a judge decided to grant him a new trial.
On Wednesday, Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy said that a motion for a new trial should be granted. A day later, a judge agreed and Swinton was released on a promise to appear.
Swinton was convicted of murder in 2001 in the killing of Carla Terry in Hartford a decade earlier. He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.
Recent DNA testing ruled him out as the source of bite marks on Terry's body and a forensic dentist recanted trial testimony that Swinton's teeth matched the marks.
“Thank God for the Innocence Project, every last one, and thank God – period,” Swinton said after leaving court.
He will be on electronic monitoring and allowed to leave his house only for medical reasons, to go to church and for legal proceedings.
Terry's family was at court as well and they were distraught.
"He killed my aunt and put her on the side of the road like she was (expletive) garbage and they know he did it," Shaquia Terry said.
Swinton's next court date is July 20,
He was investigated, but not charged, in four other 1990s killings. He has said he never killed anyone.