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Man wrongly convicted of murder walks free from Wake prison

Posted August 13, 2013
Updated August 14, 2013

— A man imprisoned for more than 20 years for the murder of a Duplin County bootlegger was released Tuesday evening from the Wake Correctional Center in Raleigh.

A judge on Thursday ordered that Larry Lamb be exonerated in the fatal shooting of Leamon Grady, who was robbed and found dead in his home in 1987. On Tuesday, the Duplin County District Attorney's Office dropped the charges against Lamb, clearing the way for his release.

Smiling, Lamb walked calmly into the arms of waiting family members shortly after 5:30 p.m.

"For the last 20-plus years, I’ve been an innocent man. It’s been a struggle," Lamb said. "It's a hard life in the penitentiary, especially knowing that you are innocent."

Grandchildren were born and loved ones passed away while Lamb was locked up, he said. 

"Not being able to attend their funerals or be with my family to console them, it's been a struggle," he said.

Larry Lamb reunites with family Exonerated man reunites with family after two decades in prison

But he tried to stay positive through the ordeal.

"I was raised in a good community and the people taught me to be positive," he said. "My mother always told me whatever I do, do my very best. Wherever I go, represent home, represent the family, and that's what I've strived to do over these years."

On his first night as a free man, Lamb said he was looking forward to a good meal and new memories with family.

"I'm going to go and try to eat me some fish, some real food," he said. "Now, all I just want to do is go and be with my family and my children and get to know my grandchildren and love them."

Larry Lamb was wrongly convicted of the 1987 murder of a Duplin County man. Lamb: Kept positive through prison ordeal

Lamb was the only one of three men convicted in Grady's murder still in prison. He was serving a life sentence.

Levon "Bo" Jones spent 13 years on death row before he was released in May 2008. Duplin County prosecutors decided to drop the charges against him after a key witness admitted she lied on the stand.

The Center on Actual Innocence took up Lamb's case in 2010, filing a motion to have him released based on the witness's false statements, as well as ineffective defense counsel.

Lamb said the path to his exoneration was slow and painful, but he advised other wrongfully convicted inmates to keep the faith.

"At one time, I wanted to fire Chris (Mumma)," Lamb said with a laugh. "This is a slow battle. It takes time. A lot of times we think it should happen just like that, but it doesn't ... so I would like to encourage them to stay focused, continue to take part in positive things – attend worship service, go to school."

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  • ups1158 Aug 14, 2013

    I am a tea party supporter and if he was unjustly imprisoned his family and himself need to be well compensated.. I know many many tea party members and never have I heard or read anything racially condemning, the only racial words I hear about are from the ones that oppose the tea party.

  • jgilchr Aug 14, 2013

    "I understand "ignorance is bliss" - TEA stands for "Taxed Enough Already" and the Tea party protests the nullification of the Constitution which I am sure is hurting "white/black/yellow/green/tan/whatever shade you may think of" equally! I understand it is easy to adopt simplistic world views because no thought or analysis is involved!" - Conservative

    You are kidding yourself if you think there are not plenty of racists in the Tea Party. Sure it may mean Taxed Enough Already but that doesn't mean they aren't there. Those who are not racist in the Tea Party just fail to realize they are working for the interests of major corporations, polluters, and a few at the top who promise the wealth will trickle down when in reality it never will.

  • Obamacare saves lives Aug 14, 2013

    May the good Lord be with you down every road you roam
    And may sunshine and happiness surround you when you're far from home
    And may you grow to be proud, dignified, and true
    And do unto others as you'd have done to you

  • Scubagirl Aug 14, 2013

    "Hopefully our Republican legislature will put a stop to this liberal nonsense. - jdraleigh""

    You DO know the Republicans were in 'power' in NC when this happened so how do you figure this is liberal nonsense????? tsk, tsk.

  • Scubagirl Aug 14, 2013

    governor in 1987..... James G. Martin January 5, 1985 January 9, 1993 Republican

  • lifeq Aug 14, 2013

    I agree with jcthai.

    $4000.00 is a lot of money 20 years ago. People who do not have basic food, medicine, shelter etc can be made to say anything.

    Important to understand, the "Innocence commission" can only take cases where the the witness are still a life and believe the system failed. They have to prove every prosecution witness/evidence was bad. There are thousands of cases where there is partial evidence but wrong people could be in jail.

  • tran Aug 14, 2013

    If the courts aren't getting it right on capital crimes, their reliability on lesser offenses is probably lower.

  • jcthai Aug 14, 2013

    As usual, whatelseisnew fails to comprehend even the simplest of concepts of society and government. The government is US. The men and women who serve in government were elected by us or hired by us to conduct our business. If they screw up, then we are the ones who put them in the position to do so, and we must accept the consequences. So, suppose the garbage man drives his truck into your brand new car parked in front of your house. Are you going to sue him? Are you going to expect his personal car insurance policy to pay you? No. He was working for the government and the government will pay. Sigh......

  • soyousay Aug 14, 2013

    People get wrongly convicted. Period. If you were in his place, what would you want?..

    there is the problem. the people you addressing are sure it will never happen to the them..only those "other people" wink wink who surely are guilty of something or as karmaggedon said."Wrongly convicted" does not mean innocent.

    and that says it all

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Aug 14, 2013

    Republicans, if you have an iota of Do Unto Others in you, look at this man and his case...and reverse your efforts to disband the Innocence Panels like this one.

    People get wrongly convicted. Period. If you were in his place, what would you want?

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