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Donovan prisoner released after 30 years behind bars with help of Project for the Innocent

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jan 11, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Humberto Duran's mom has been waiting to hold him as a free man for 30 years. That's how long her son has been behind bars, all the while proclaiming his innocence.

"I'm feeling good, happy, unbelievable. I can't believe I'm out," Duran said Wednesday, just moments after being released from Donovan State Prison.

Now 48, "Beto," as his family calls him, was recently granted parole. But his conviction has yet to be overturned.

Nevertheless, it's progress his attorneys with Loyola's 'Project for the Innocent' say is a major step in the right direction.

"Beto had an alibi. There were several witnesses who were willing to testify that he was nowhere near the scene of the crime. His trial attorney just decided not to put on any of this evidence; it's really egregious," explained lawyer Megan Baca.

His legal team now plans to try to get his conviction for murder and attempted murder overturned which would pave the way for him to be compensated for the time he spent in prison.

"He was shot by a prison guard while he was in prison. He was confined to a wheelchair for quite a long time. He has a lot of medical issues that need to be addressed that the prison system has not been addressing," said Baca.

Until then, Duran and his loved ones are cherishing the time they now have together.

Duran said how important it was to finally have a legal team fully supporting him. "I felt that they believed in me, and they knew that I was saying the truth from the beginning that I was innocent."

And now that he's out and headed home to la, he says his first plans are simply to celebrate a late Christmas with his family, the first in decades.

"Share the moment, all these years that I missed Christmas," said Duran.

Since 2011, the Loyola Project for the Innocent has helped to secure the release of 15 other clients seeking justice after wrongful convictions.