On the day he was finally released from prison after murder charges were dropped, Alprentiss Nash vowed he would use his freedom studying to become a chef, learning about antique cars and traveling.

The Chicago Tribune reports, the 40-year-old Nashhad been wrongfully convicted in 1995 for the murder a man named Leon Stroud based on witness testimony. Nash, who always maintained his innocence, was sentenced to 80 years in prison in 1997. According to the report, 

He was released in August 2012 after DNA tests on a ski mask recovered from the scene matched the genetic profile of another man.

Nash spent the past three years enjoying his freedom. He traveled and and bought a motorcycle and even completed a culinary program. He had plans to open his own restaurant in New Orleans. His mother, Yvette Martin told the

"He was really happy to be free, and he never talked about his time in prison. He wanted to just get past it and be happy. He was overjoyed and excited about building a new life."

Nash's attorney told reporters that Nash had received a certificate of innocence and $200,000 pay out from the state after he was released. He was also suing the city for millions of dollars in a federal lawsuit against Chicago. While the payout helped Nash live the good life in the area, he was still unable to get a job. Unfortunately, Nash's family said his flashy new lifestyle attracted negative attention. They said they believe he had been the target of an armed robbery. Nash was fatally shot while leaving a currency exchange. His family said,

"During his 17 years in prison, Nash missed countless family celebrations, gatherings and milestones, including the funeral of his maternal grandmother and his son's entire childhood. But he also earned his GED diploma and wrote the legal brief that eventually helped him win his freedom."

They said Nash told them he was determined not to be bitter, stating,

"I'm on a new journey. As far as my life, it begins now, and I'm thankful."

That journey included re-establishing bonds with his younger sister nephews and nieces, who he met for the first time. He saw his mother every week and spent time with his maternal grandfather on the West Side. 

"He wanted to be a good uncle, so he'd check up on the kids," said Nash's sister, Robin Martin. "We'd talk on the phone for hours about our childhood, the time before he was taken away."

When Nash's mother got the phone call alerting her of her son's untimely death, she told the Chicago Tribune

"I just screamed from my innermost belly because I wanted God to know I hurt.

Nash is one more example of why the Innocence Project is so important. What a sad story. 

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