It took him nearly two decades but a North Carolina man, wrongfully accused of murder, is finally out of prison. LaMonte Armstrong, 62, spent 17 years of his life behind bars, and was exonerated Friday (June 29) in the 1998 death of Ernestine Compton, who was one of his professors at North Caroline A&T State University.
Armstrong was sentenced to life, but was ordered out of custody by Superior Court Judge Joe Turner, after authorities were able to pin the crime on another suspect. Like others in his position, further investigation into the case revealed that both officers and prosecutors covered up details from defense lawyers. Detectives also identified a palm print found on the door of Compton's home, as belonging to another suspect.
Despite the fact that there was no physical evidence linking Armstrong to the crime, he was still convicted. "Every letter said this: Son, don't forget to pray," Armstrong said of the advice that his mother gave him. "I never stopped praying. I never stopped. I hope she knows that."
The Greensboro police department is credited for saving Armstrong from spending the rest of his life behind bars, and have been praised by Guilford County Assistant District Attorney Howard Neumann.
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Photo: The Grio