A Minneapolis native was released from prison on Tuesday (Dec. 15) after 18 years in custody, the Associated Press reported. Myon Burrell was facing a life sentence for his role in the 2002 shooting of a child, but his sentence was commuted following new issues with the case.
Findings from an investigation conducted by AP and American Public Media Reports show that examiners overlooked evidence that could have absolved Burrell of the crime. The Minnesota Board of Pardons subsequently announced that his sentence would be reduced to 20 years, and he was freed from jail. The last two years of his sentence will be served on supervised release.
“I thank everybody that came out and supported me. Man, I can’t even explain my gratitude of all my supporters,” Burrell said, according to CNN affiliate WCCO. ”I love y’all, y’all take care and y’all keep on pushing, man. We fighting for this justice. There’s too much injustice going on.”
Burrell was arrested at 16 years old after 11-year-old Tyesha Edwards was struck by a stray bullet. He repeatedly mainted his innocence and rejected all plea deals, but police relied heavily on the testimonies of a witness who gave conflicting accounts and inmates who were either “coached or coerced.” The recent AP investigation also revealed there was no hard evidence that connected Burrell to the crime, adding a lead detective in the investigation bribed an inmate with “major dollars” if he said Burrell was the shooter.
Isaiah Tyson, one of Burrell’s co-defendants — who has long admitted he was the gunman — insisted that Burrell wasn’t present at the time of the shooting. He is currently serving a 45-year sentence for the child’s murder. “I will always carry the burden of what happened to an innocent child,” Tyson said after Burrell’s release. “But by him being let go, it’s a huge relief for me, because I’ve been holding that this whole time. ... He was locked up for something he had no idea about.”