VIDEO: Crowd erupts in joy as man is freed from prison after conviction overturned in 1990 NYC murder

EMBED </>More Videos

Raw video shows Johnny Hincapie's walk to freedom after his conviction was overturned. (WABC)

A moment of jubilee erupted as a man whose conviction was overturned in a 1990 New York City tourist killing walked to freedom.

Johnny Hinicapie walked out of a courthouse and into a crowd of cheering supporters Tuesday after spending 25 years in prison.

He was convicted in the murder of Utah tourist Brian Watkins, who was stabbed to death in a subway station as he defended his parents during a mugging. That conviction was recently overturned by the state supreme court, and he was released on bail while awaiting a retrial.

"First thing I want to say is that I'm going to Disney World!" Hinicapie shouted.

WEB EXTRA: Watch unedited video of Hinicapie's release Tuesday night in the video player above

He spoke to the media, saying he knew he'd eventually be cleared.

"I said all along that I knew the truth would come out sooner or later and I had that faith that this was going to come to an end," Hinicapie said.

It was likely a bit longer than he was hoping.

"It's sad that it took 25 years for the truth to uncover itself. It's sad that we kept an innocent man in prison for so long because of a false confession that should have never taken place," Hinicapie said.

"I thank God that now I can start to put all of this behind me."

Hinicapie had his first cellphone conversation in 25 years outside of the courthouse. When he was first locked up, cellphones were just starting to hit the market.

"Shame on those individuals that did this to me. Shame on all those individuals who had knowledge of what happened to me, but I forgive them. I forgive them because they have to deal with judgment sooner or later," he said.

And what his plans for his first night of freedom in 25 years?

"I hope there's some seafood around," Hinicapie said.

Related Topics:
conviction overturnedNew York City
(Copyright ©2017 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments