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Man found innocent in 1991 murder case moving forward 6 months after release

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Corey Atchison, who was found innocent in a 1991 murder case, is moving forward with his life six months after his release from prison. Photo taken Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (KTUL photo)

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Corey Atchison has essentially had to start his life over.

“Before I got locked up, I was zoom, zoom, zoom, go everywhere,” he said, but after 28 years in prison, his first few months of freedom have moved at a slower pace.

“When I first got out and drove, I was really kind of nervous,” Atchison said.

He says he’s using every second to make up for the lost time.

“I got the truck that day, they let me move into the apartment,” he said. “I finally got my ID. I was happy about that.”

All things so many take for granted.

“I was just so happy. I got me a blanket and a pillow, and I slept on the floor,” Atchison said.

On top of a place to live and his own car, Atchison has a job for the first time in 28 years.

“I told them, I don’t know how to do this, and I ain't never done this,” Atchison told his future boss. “But I am willing to learn, and I will be at work every day, and I will be on time, and he was like, 'I am going to give you a chance.'”

That’s all Atchison really ever wanted.

Judge Sharon Holmes gave him that chance 204 days ago when she vacated the 1991 murder charge that sent him to prison for life.

He's now living it up with his daughter and grandson, who were both born when he was in prison.

“You be apart from someone but when I am with her it is like I’ve never been away from her,” he said.

Atchison has been to OU games, traveled to Dallas, and is hoping to take a cruise one of these days.

“I always say I am having a good time and loving it, and I haven’t even really did anything yet," he said.

But the outside world is everything.

“It is just amazing to be out here and to look in the sky and be free and do what you want to do,” Atchison said.

And he’s not looking back.

“I want to stay right here in the free world,” he said. “In the free world is what I call it; that is what it is.”

Atchison says he'd love to talk to young kids and other inmates about his journey. He says if he can help one person, it is worth it.

The judge has not yet submitted her written ruling to vacate the murder charge.

When she does, the district attorney’s office says they plan to appeal it.



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