After nearly 30 years in prison, a Chicago man was released after his murder conviction was overturned.

A Chicago man was released from prison after a judge overturned his murder conviction because prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to retry him.

Lee Harris has been proclaiming his innocence from behind bars for decades, and ABC7 was there moments after he was finally released from Crest Hill’s Stateville Prison.

His family and attorney greeted him.

“If you believe it, you can achieve it. And, I didn’t know when or how long, but they weren’t going to carry me out of there,” he said.

Lee was convicted of murder in the death of Dana Feitler in 1992. She was shot and killed in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood in 1989 after withdrawing $400 from an ATM.

The lead detective on the case, according to Harris, tortured him and forced him to confess.

“In my early years, they couldn’t have sat down with me. But, you know, as you grow older, I know they’re not thinking about me, so why should I waste time thinking about them?” he said.

Harris was surrounded by his only son, family, friends, and the attorneys who fought for his release at Manzo’s Burger in Morgan Park on Thursday night. Jermaine, his son, was only seven years old when his father was imprisoned.

“He was always there. He couldn’t be physically there, but he knew what I did in football. He had his friends come and visit me,” Jermaine Harris said.

Feitler’s family said they found out about Harris’ release two days ago. They released a statement, saying in part, “Thirty-four years ago, our daughter and sister Dana Feitler, a kind, hard-working and talented 24-year-old Chicagoan was randomly abducted from the lobby of her home and murdered. Not a day has gone by where the memory of Dana has not been present in our family’s lives.”

“My heart goes out to that family because for over 33 years that family, they thought they had closure,” Harris said moments after he was released from prison. “Now the wounds have reopened. I feel so sorry for them. My heart goes out to them, I just hope them the best.”

Harris says he has a lot of family time to catch up on, and he’ll start with the Bulls game on Friday night, which he and his son plan to attend.

Leave a Reply

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: