Jonathan Irons, whose conviction was overturned with help of WNBA's Maya Moore, is released from prison

“I’m free,” Irons said after walking out of the Jefferson City Correctional Center. “I’m blessed.”
Image: Maya Moore
Jefferson City, Mo., native and WNBA star Maya Moore, from right, calls Jonathan Irons as supporters react on March 9, 2020, in Jefferson City after Cole County Judge Dan Green overturned Irons' convictions in a 1997 burglary and assault case. Moore, a family friend, had supported Irons, sharing his story on a national basis.Jeff Haldiman / The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP

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By Tim Stelloh

Jonathan Irons, a wrongfully convicted man whose case was overturned in March with the help of WNBA player Maya Moore, was released from jail Wednesday.

Video of Irons, 40, walking out of the Jefferson City Correctional Center in Missouri was posted on Moore’s Instagram page with the message “FREEDOM.”

“I’m free,” Irons said. “I’m blessed.”

A lawyer for Irons, Jay Lenox, told NBC affiliate KSDK that prosecutors declined to retry the two-decade-old burglary and assault case.

Irons was 16 when he was tried as an adult and convicted of breaking into a home in O’Fallon, a city outside St. Louis, and twice shooting a homeowner. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

On March 9, Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green ruled that prosecutors suppressed fingerprint evidence that would have strengthened Irons' defense and presented no physical proof linking him to the crime.

The testimony of an eyewitness was “dotted with inconsistencies,” the judge said.

Moore, a five-time all-star with the Minnesota Lynx who took a sabbatical to advocate for Irons, first met him in 2007 during a visit to the Jefferson City Correctional Center.

On Wednesday night, Moore tweeted a photo of her and Irons together with the hashtag “#winwithjustice.”