(CBS) — Two men — Nevest Coleman and Darryl Fulton — have been released from prison after 23 years.
On Friday, a Cook County judge signed the order vacating their convictions for a 1994 rape and murder. Their attorneys say the men were railroaded.
WBBM’s Steve Miller spoke with 48-year-old Coleman just a couple of hours after he got his first taste of freedom in more than two decades.
“Emotional and anxious and happy,” is how he described his feelings.
He was anxious to see his family, who stood by him for those 23 years.
Ten family members were waiting for him when he was released from prison in Galesburg.
“My main goal is to get to know my family, get to know my grandbabies. And as time goes by, find me a job. Work. Do something, you know?”
Coleman says when he first went to prison for rape and murder, he was angry and bitter.
“But then I sat back and realized, there ain’t any sense in being upset,” he says. “I’m out. I’m free. I can’t be mad. I can’t be upset. But I was just hurt that it took this long to get me freed.”
Authorities say DNA test results point to another man in the 1994 rape and murder and not to Coleman or Darryl Fulton.
Before he was sent to prison, Coleman had a clean record. He worked at White Sox Park.
“What’s it called? Cellular Field now?”
WBBM: No, it’s Guaranteed Rate Field.
“Oh, well,” he laughs. “I’ve been gone so I don’t even know what it is. If they could hire me back, I’d sure go back and work for them. If they tell me to come back to work, I go.”
Coleman and Fulton could be retried for rape and murder, but depending on final DNA test results, charges could be dropped.