Missouri man freed from prison with help from WNBA star

3 months 10 hours 59 minutes ago Wednesday, July 01 2020 Jul 1, 2020 Wednesday, July 01, 2020 9:19:00 PM CDT July 01, 2020 in News
By: Katie Athey, kOMU 8 Digital Producer
CREDIT: NBC

JEFFERSON CITY- Jonathan Irons was wrongfully convicted for almost 23 years in the state prison system, however Wednesday, July 1 he was freed after county prosecutor declined to retry his case.

In 1998, at age 16, Irons was convicted of first degree assault, armed criminal action and first degree burglary. He is 40 now, and had been in prison ever since.

St. Louis station KSDK reported Tuesday afternoon that Irons could be released in the next 10 days if St. Charles County prosecutor Tim Lohmar did not retry him.  

WNBA star Maya Moore advocated for Irons' release in October of 2019. Moore has used her platform to bring awareness to wrongful convictions, such as Jonathan Irons. 

Moore, a Jefferson City native, was seen supporting Irons as he walked out of the Jefferson City Correctional Center. The two first met when Moore's family was involved with prison ministry. 

According to KSDK, on Tuesday, June 30, the Missouri Supreme Court denied Attorney General Eric Schmitt's appeal to a judge's decision to vacate Iron's 50 year sentence. 

Schmitt said in his appeal that Cole County Judge Dan Green, who vacated the sentence in March, overstepped. In his petition, Schmitt also focussed heavily on whether Iron's defense knew about a second report that showed fingerprints at the scene that matched the homeowners. 

A month later, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled Green's decision was proper. After the highest state court denied Schmitt's appeal, Lohmar decided to not retry the case.

According to KSDK Lohmar chose not to retry the case based on the lack of DNA evidence.

Lohmar has not yet commented, but he has announced a press conference to be held this Thursday to discuss the case.

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