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It wasn't murder: Judge frees innocent Nashville man after 30 years

220512 riverbend maximum security prison.jpg
news.varderbilt.edu
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News outlets report Claude Garrett left Riverbend prison in Nashville on Tuesday.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man who served 30 years of a life sentence for the fire that killed his girlfriend is now free.

A judge vacated his murder conviction, declaring that 65-year-old Claude Garrett “has shown actual innocence.”

Garrett was found guilty in 1992 after his girlfriend Lorie Lee Lance died of smoke inhalation in the Nashville home they shared.

Investigators said evidence showed he set the blaze. But fire science has improved since then. The Tennessee Innocence Project worked with prosecutors to show multiple ways it could have been an accident.

News outlets report Garrett left Riverbend prison in Nashville on Tuesday.