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Wrongfully accused man released after spending 3 years in Rikers

Posted at 7:29 PM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 19:29:47-04

Julian Douglas is thankful to be free after spending three long years in Rikers Island for a crime he did not commit.

“The worst part wasn’t physical, it was more mental. That’s where most of my pain came from,” he said.

On March 30 2015, 70-year-old Leta Webb was killed with a single gunshot to the head after answering the door to her family’s home in Jamaica, Queens.. Detectives began a manhunt for Webb’s killer and brought Douglas in for questioning. He was on parole and lived in the area. From the very beginning he insisted he was innocent. A witness placed him near the scene of the crime, picking him out of a lineup.

"...That’s when it kind of sunk in a little, I'm going down for something I didn’t do," he said.

He was charged with murder and spent 35 months incarcerated waiting to see a judge. Bail was denied in his case.  He had three different District Attorneys and judges.

"It was like a case that nobody really wanted," he said.

When he was finally brought before a judge earlier this month, the charges against him were dropped and he was released from jail.

“It still feels unreal,” he said.

The murder of Leta Webb remains unsolved, the NYPD told PIX11 there have been no updates on the case.