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Kevin Strickland lights KC Mayor’s Christmas tree

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — From jail to a stage at Crown Middle, this week has been an emotional one for Kevin Strickland throughout his lengthy journey to battle for his freedom and show his innocence.

Following his long-sought launch from custody, Strickland flipped a change to mild up the 100-foot tree Mayor’s Christmas Tree in entrance of a cheering crowd Friday.

It’s one in all many firsts he’ll expertise now {that a} decide dominated that his wrongful conviction have to be put aside. Strickland was incarcerated for greater than 40 years. He was convicted in 1979 of three murders that he maintained he didn’t commit.

Strickland was launched Tuesday from the Western Missouri Correctional Middle. Choose James Welsh dominated earlier this week that the proof used to convict Strickland had been disproven and a key witness recanted earlier than she died.

“I’m nonetheless in disbelief,” Strickland stated Tuesday along with his attorneys standing by his aspect.

On Friday, he was a particular visitor of Mayor Quinton Lucas for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree lighting. Rising up in Kansas Metropolis, Kevin Strickland by no means attended the occasion.

“That is an expertise I’ve by no means skilled in my life,” Kevin Strickland stated. “What was it like final 12 months? There aren’t any phrases for that. That’s a reminiscence I’m making an attempt to shove out the again door.”

Strickland watched fireworks explode above the Mayor’s Christmas Tree as a free man. He spent Thanksgiving along with his household.

“What made it much more particular was the very fact I received to spend it with nearly all of my household and most of all with God and with Kevin that hadn’t occurred in eternally,” Strickland’s brother Roland Strickland stated.

Strickland began off his Christmas season with an invitation to Crown Middle for the Mayor’s Christmas Tree lighting.

“I used to be honored to obtain it,” Kevin Strickland stated.

Chiefs security Tyrann Mathieu was initially slated to be the mayor’s particular visitor however cancelled due to schedule adjustments.

Strickland won’t obtain any compensation for time misplaced throughout his incarceration.

The state of Missouri doesn’t have a statute to compensate an individual wrongfully convicted of against the law except they’re exonerated by way of DNA.

A GoFundMe account to assist Strickland regulate to life exterior of jail has raised greater than $1.2 million.

“He hasn’t identified another life however behind the partitions of a penitentiary for the previous 43 years. What loads of us do and take with no consideration, it’s not simple for him,” Roland Strickland stated. “I’m simply there to assist him any time he may have it. I’m there to help him.”

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