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'They Robbed Me of a Career, a Life'

Wrongfully convicted of murder, Larry McKee faces difficult adjustment to freedom
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2018 6:38 PM CDT
Updated Oct 4, 2018 1:33 AM CDT
Larry McKee, right, listens to a judge vacate his murder conviction and free him in January.   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(Newser) – "They robbed me of a career, a life." Those are the words of Larry McKee, a New York man who was released from prison earlier this year after spending two decades behind bars for a murder he maintained he didn't commit. The New York Times takes a deep dive into the case and McKee's difficult transition back into society. "Technology's changed," he says. His iPhone8 is a mystery. "I've still got problems with it, with emails and texts." McKee was convicted of murder in 1997. He had been in a brawl that left Theodore Vance with a fatal gunshot wound. In January, a judge overturned the conviction after it was determined that prosecutors had withheld crucial evidence from the defense—namely, per PIX11, that Vance's dying words were that a Hispanic man shot him.

"I can say now that I am satisfied, but I'm not happy at all," McKee, who is black, said in January. "They knew it wasn't me." Now a free man, McKee lives in a one-bedroom apartment near Yankee Stadium, getting help from relatives as he seeks work. "I like to be alone a lot these days," he tells the Times. He takes pleasure in things most people take for granted, such as going out for a cup of coffee. "I wake up, go for a walk. I can do a lot of things I couldn't do before. I couldn't go and just look at Yankee Stadium. So I appreciate little things like that. My old life is over." (Another wrongfully convicted New York man was recently released from prison.)

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