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Innocence Project joint work brings freedom

Orleans Parish Criminal Court (Source: FOX 8 Photo) Orleans Parish Criminal Court (Source: FOX 8 Photo)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A partnership between prosecutors and a group that works to free people who were wrongfully convicted has overturned the conviction of a man who had been serving a life sentence on a murder charge. 

Innocence Project-New Orleans director Emily Maw says Kia Stewart's freedom is the first tangible result of the Conviction Integrity Project, a collaboration with prosecutors. 

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro says Judge Darryl Derbigny granted Stewart a new trial Monday, and prosecutors dismissed the murder charge against him. A jury convicted Stewart in 2009 of killing Bryant Craig Jr. in July 2005. The second-degree murder conviction carried a mandatory life sentence. 

Cannizzaro says investigators found numerous witnesses who either identified a different killer or said Stewart was not the killer.

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