Meet Lamonte McIntyre, he spent 23 years in prison for a double murder he didn’t commit. He was recently awarded $1.5 million to settle a lawsuit for his wrongful conviction.
He was convicted and sentenced to life for two murders of Donald Ewing and Doniel Quinn. He was only 17 at the time. He was exonerated after 8,583 days in prison.
“In this case, our office worked diligently to obtain and review all available evidence, including evidence identified but not provided in the earlier judicial proceedings,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement Monday.
“We were ultimately able to resolve all issues, satisfy all of the statute’s requirements, and agree to this outcome so Mr. McIntyre can receive the benefits to which he is entitled by law because of his mistaken conviction.”
“The state of Kansas can’t give me back the 23 years it took from me,” he said in his testimony. “But it can pass this compensation law so I can start my path to a successful future.”
In addition to $1.5 million, McIntyre received access to the state health care benefits program for two years, counseling and a tuition wavier for post-secondary education. Records of his conviction, arrest and any DNA profile record information were ordered to be expunged.
“Today, Lamonte McIntyre has been declared, finally and conclusively, a completely innocent man,” Cheryl A. Pilate, McIntyre’s lawyer, told CNN on Monday. “That long-overdue recognition, along with the statutory payment and other benefits, will help lighten a bit the heavy load he has carried.”
After his release from prison, McIntyre co-founded a nonprofit, Miracle of Innocence, to help others who are wrongfully convicted. He also is the co-owner and student instructor at Headlines Barber Academy in Kansas City.
“We are going to help innocent people come home,” McIntyre told KMBC. “But we also want to make sure they are sound and on solid ground once they get here.”