RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man who served more than 40 years in prison for a shopkeeper’s slaying in a failed robbery attempt is heading home.
Attorney Theresa Newman of the Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic says 81-year-old Charles Ray Finch was released Thursday from Greene Correctional Institution and was picked up by relatives and an attorney.
A federal judge in Raleigh ordered Finch’s release earlier Thursday. In January, an appeals court ruled that evidence casts doubt on Finch’s murder conviction.
Finch was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the death of Richard Holloman, who was shot inside his country store on Feb. 13, 1976. Finch had initially been sentenced to death. He has maintained he’s innocent.
Finch’s case was the first case handled by the Duke Wrongful Convictions Clinic.