Man freed 28 years after being imprisoned for murder as teen

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina man convicted of murder as a teenager and imprisoned 28 years ago is luxuriating by sleeping on his cousin’s living room sofa after a North Carolina judge ruled he did not get a fair trial.

Forty-three-year-old Johnny Small said he looked forward to a hot bath and getting used to an amped-up world full of cellphones he never knew now that he’s left prison after nearly three decades Thursday evening. After prison cots, he says he prefers the sofa in a big, open room to a private bedroom.

Hours earlier, Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Parsons ruled there wasn’t enough evidence to justify Small’s conviction for the 1988 murder of Pam Dreher in Wilmington.

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