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Moment Innocent Man Jailed For 18 Years Given Not Guilty Verdict

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Moment Innocent Man Jailed For 18 Years Given Not Guilty Verdict

A wrongfully jailed man broke down with tears of happiness as the jury found him not guilty of murder, after he had spent 18 years behind bars.

Watch the courtroom erupt into cheers as the verdict is delivered in the footage below:

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Daniel Villegas returned to a courtroom for the third and final time after facing undeserved murder charges.

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The footage from 2018, shows the man's family who were screaming, crying and cheering with joy as the verdict was given.

Villegas's charges dated back to 1993, when Armando Lazo and Bobby England were gunned down in El Paso, Texas.

He was 16 years old at the time and he had confessed to those shootings.

However, he later claimed he was pressured by an El Paso police officer into confessing.

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Villegas had a mistrial in 1994 due to a hung jury, then a conviction in his second trial in 1995, where he was sentenced to life in prison.

Credit: KFOX-TV
Credit: KFOX-TV

It was reported that if he didn't confess to the murders, he would be brought out to the desert and beaten.

He also says that he was threatened by the death penalty if he didn't agree to the terms set by the police officer.

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After being released, Villegas told the El Paso Times: "Thank you to all of El Paso.

"Even in court when we were waiting, people were coming up to us and saying, 'We are rooting for you'.

"Even law enforcement in the courtroom, I can't say who they are, were even saying, 'We are rooting for you. We are rooting for you.'"

Credit: KFOX-TV
Credit: KFOX-TV
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He added: "I just wanted to thank all of El Paso for having my back. Thank you for being there because that helped me a lot.

"That helped me have strength."

Villegas' lawyer Joe Spencer said: "I am thankful for Daniel and his family.

"I can't even imagine what that young man and his family have been dealing with for a quarter of a century."

Featured Image Credit: KFOX-TV

Topics: Texas, crime, US

Anish Vij
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