Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5 News
A judge has officially lifted the conviction of a Dallas man who spent 14 years in prison for murder and attempted murder. Richard Miles was freed in 2009 after an advocacy group found evidence implicating another man in the crime.
A state district judge declarde a Dallas man innocent of the murder and attempted murder for which he spent 14 years in prison.
State District Judge Andy Chatham read Wednesday the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruling of "actual innocence" for Richard Miles.
Miles has been free on his own recognizance since a judge recommended that he be declared innocent in October 2009 after an advocacy group found evidence implicating another man wasn't given to the defense when he was convicted in 1995.
That evidence was a detailed anonymous phone call to police three months before the trial from a person who claims to have known about what happened in the shooting. That person said Miles was the wrong suspect and that there was a fight between the two victims and another person just five days before the shooting.
However, Miles wasn't cleared and entitled to state compensation, until the appeals court ruling.
Miles' attorney has said he would seek compensation under the Tim Cole Act, which provides those wrongfully convicted with $80,000 for every year of incarceration. Miles said he hopes to use some of that money to help recently released offenders adjust to society.
"I've been saying that for 17 and a half years, so now it's like the world knows I'm innocent," he said. "I've always knew that I was innocent. My mom and dad knew I was innocent. My dad passed five months before I was released, five months before I was released. There's no amount of compensation that can be given to any individual to compensate what was lost. Nothing. So all the questions about compensation, they has nothing to do with what I lost or what was taken away from me. But now to say I was innocent, I'm not proving it to myself, I'm proving it to the world."
Miles told NBC 5 he hopes his exoneration provides hope for others who he said are still behind bars for crimes they did not commit.
NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this story.