Compelled by the law and circumstances of the state's case, Oklahoma County District Judge Twyla Mason Gray dismissed the murder charges against Curtis Edward McCarty and ordered his release on May 11.
McCarty had been convicted twice for the 1982 murder of 18-year-old Pamela Kaye Willis:
" His first conviction in 1986 was overturned due to improper testimony by forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist.
" His second conviction in 1989 was tossed out two years ago, again largely based on Gilchrist's actions while investigating the case.
When he walked out of the Oklahoma County jail within a few hours of Gray's order, McCarty could barely open his eyes. He said it was the first time in about 17 years he had seen the sun.
"Nobody really won," he said. "Don't get me wrong, I couldn't be happier to be with my mom and dad, because they struggled all these years. But I can't tell you I'm happy for myself. I lost a lot and I don't know if I can gain it back.
"I'll be 45 years old shortly. I don't own a home. I don't have insurance, and I don't have a family doctor. I don't have an education and I'm unemployable. I'm in a position where I hope wouldn't happen did." "Scott Cooper
More McCarty coverage:
Judge releases McCarty; rips former chemist
Judge: McCarty test results expected next week
McCarty submits additional DNA sample
Key evidence in McCarty case does not match defendant