Innocent man freed after spending 20 years behind bars for attempted murder in a Compton shooting

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A Los Angeles County judge on Tuesday ordered the immediate release of a man who has served 20 years behind bars for a Compton shooting he didn’t commit.

Moments after walking out of a downtown L.A. courtroom as a free man, Marco Contreras offered a message to others in his situation.

“Keep fighting,” he said in Spanish. “Be patient and keep fighting.”

Contreras, 41, who maintained his innocence, was convicted of attempted robbery and attempted murder in 1997 for a shooting at a Compton gas station a year earlier. He was sentenced to life in prison.


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