NBC NEWS- Robert Dewey walked out of a Mesa County, Colorado courtroom as a free man Monday afternoon, after serving 6,219 days in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit.
Dewey declined to make a statement shortly before he was exonerated, but he did thank Judge Brian Flynn when he was exonerated, as well Rich Tuttle, the Mesa County Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted the original case in 1996.
Tuttle apologized to Dewey and wished him the best.
"I deeply regret that it took so many years to uncover your innocence," Tuttle said.
His mother, Donna Weston, sat behind her son as he was exonerated.
She and her husband Jim drove 761 miles from California to be with Dewey, who requested a steak dinner for his first meal as a free man in 17 years.