The New York Times / Michael Appleton

Disney World Receipt Clears Man Of Murder After 25 Years

Jonathan Fleming had been serving decades in prison for murder when a hotel bill finally proved he was innocent.

By Lauren Zima | April 9, 2014

This story really blew our minds. A man is finally free after almost 25 years in prison. He was falsely convicted, and the scary thing is that evidence proving his innocence seems to have been right there the whole time.

WCBS reports Jonathan Fleming was convicted in a shooting murder based on the testimony of a witness who later recanted. Fleming said when the murder happened, he was on a trip to Disney World with his family.

But this is what makes his conviction really unbelievable.

"A receipt shows him paying a hotel bill in Orlando just four hours before the murder in Brooklyn."

"And that's never turned over to the defense team." (Via NY1)

Fleming's family also declared he'd been on vacation with them. And Fleming and his family are what really makes the story stand out: we noticed that across all their interviews with local outlets — they remained incredibly positive. 

"I'm just so glad to have my baby back."

"Feeling amazing. Feeling amazing. Just taking it all in." (Via WNBC)

"I feel wonderful. I'm going to eat dinner with my mother and my family, and I'm going to live the rest of my life."

"Are you angry?"

"No. I'm not angry. I'm just glad to have him back." (Via WABC)

Fleming says he intends to go to school so he can help free other innocent men. Now, while this case certainly reflects poorly on the district attorney's office back in 1990, it does reflect well on Broooklyn's newest district attorney, who took office last year.

The New York Times reports Kenneth P. Thompson has helped get two wrongfully convicted people freed, and Monday added three lawyers to the office's Conviction Review Unit, which is evaluating dozens of cases.

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