Tyra Patterson freed from prison after 23 years

Tyra Patterson freed from prison after 23 years (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - After 23 years, a woman who said she was wrongfully convicted of murder and robbery, is free.

Tyra Patterson was released from prison Monday morning, just in time to spend the Christmas holiday with her mother.

Tyra Patterson has always said didn't participate in the robbery and murder of a Michell Lai in Dayton.

Photos of Tyra Patterson just after she walked out of a prison in Cleveland on Monday morning show that she was ecstatic as she became a free woman.

In 1994, Patterson and a friend were there when some teens started a confrontation with Lai and her sister.

Patterson says she tried to intervene and then left.

She says she and her friend heard a gunshot and Patterson call 911.

Later, Patterson confessed to stealing a necklace from one of the victims, but she says she was pressured to do so by a detective and had picked up the necklace off the ground.

Other teens were convicted of the murder and later said Patterson was innocent.

Michelle Lai's sister, Holly, was there the night of the murder. She wrote a letter to Governor John Kasich last year stating she believed Tyra was innocent.

The parole board granted Patterson's release in October, ending a years-long legal fight.

The Ohio Justice and Policy Center in Cincinnati won Patterson's release.

Patterson's attorney says he will ask the court to vacate her conviction.

She will be living here and working for the center as a paralegal.

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