NEW YORK (AFP) – A New Yorker who spent 29 years in prison for kidnap and murder walked free Wednesday after a judge overturned his conviction, saying it was based on a false confession.
David McCallum, who was 16 when he was arrested in 1985, broke down after Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Matthew D’Emic exonerated him. The packed courtroom broke into applause on hearing the ruling.
McCallum and Willie Stuckey, also 16 at the time, were arrested for the October 20, 1985 kidnapping and murder of 20-year-old Nathan Blenner in Queens.
The next day, children found Blenner’s body on disused land in Brooklyn. He had been shot once in the head.
The two teens were arrested shortly afterward and confessed to the crime. They were convicted the following year and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Stuckey died in prison. His mother sat next to McCallum in court, gripping his hand and comforting him as the judge overturned the indictment.