CRIME

Philadelphia man who spent 24 years in prison is exonerated

A Philadelphia man who spent 24 years in prison for a murder he says he didn't commit has been exonerated.

Shaurn Thomas' conviction was removed during a hearing Tuesday. His lawyers say he could be released later Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

The Philadelphia Inquirer says the courtroom erupted in cheers from his family and lawyers with the Pennsylvania Innocence Project.

Thomas had been convicted of participating in the slaying of a businessman who was shot in November 1990 while taking $25,000 to a check-cashing store.

Thomas claimed he was at a center for juvenile offenders for an unrelated offense on the day of the killing.

The jury wasn't swayed, and he earned a life sentence in 1993.

Prosecutors could choose to refile charges but haven't said if they will.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com