STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

After three decades in prison, man welcomed home after sentence commuted

Thirty-six years and ten days, that's how long Rodney Lincoln was in prison before his sentence was commuted for a cr...

Posted: Jul. 30, 2018 10:03 PM
Updated: Jul. 30, 2018 10:03 PM

Thirty-six years and ten days, that's how long Rodney Lincoln was in prison before his sentence was commuted for a crime he still says he never committed.

"This is my welcome home party," exclaims Rodney Lincoln.

He's basking in his freedom surrounded by friends and family some of whom he's never met. This comes after former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens commuted his sentence on his last day in office.

"For the last 36 years I've been a 10-year-old little girl waiting for her daddy to come home and now he's home. It's amazing, so surreal and sometimes I have to pinch him to make sure it's real," says his daughter Kellie Porter.

Lincoln was supposed to serve 15 years plus two consecutive life sentences. He was charged with murdering JoAnn Tate in her St. Louis apartment back in 1982 and attacking her two daughters with a knife.

Lincoln's lawyer, Tricia Bushnell, with the Midwest Innocence Project says Rodney is free but he hasn't been exonerated despite Governor Greitens acknowledging his innocence.

She says, "You look at Mr. Lincoln's case where there's no evidence left to convict him. The witness who identified him says it's not him. The hair that they said matched his DNA says it wasn't him. So, what's left? You couldn't even arrest him today. We can't get justice here if we can't fix that and so I think that's what we have to look at. What's the system that we want?"

Rodney wants to be a part of that change by sharing his story. He wants to give hope to others who've been wrongfully convicted.

For now, Rodney is trying to readjust to the outside world he hasn't been a part of for more than 30 years and he's embracing it with open arms.

"I went back to my old neighborhood and it wasn't my old neighborhood anymore or something. Now just like this,my life is something new," he says.

Rodney's attorney plans to file another petition for clemency this time hoping he'll be exonerated for the crime.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 70°
Austin
Overcast
79° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 81°
Charles City
Broken Clouds
75° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
Rochester
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 84°
Better chances for storms return today.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

'Over the edge' event happening today

Image

KIMT StormTeam 3 Weather Forecast 8-16-18

Image

Addressing rural EMS workforce shortage

Image

What's next after the primary?

Image

Corners of America

Image

Mercy Air Med Crash Memorial Removed

Image

Mercy Air Med Crash Memorial Removed

Image

Tuning Downtown Pianos

Image

Packing School Supplies

Image

Connecting Dead Ends

Community Events