Man freed after wrong photo led to murder sentence

Sheldon Thomas walks out of court, freed after a judge vacates his murder conviction on Thursday, March 9, 2023. (Screenshot from CBS New York)

A man who spent nearly two decades in prison for a murder he didn’t commit was freed after a judge agreed that the case was flawed based on a botched identification.

Shelton Thomas, 35, was freed on Thursday. Before he left the Brooklyn courtroom, he addressed the court.

“Just like I have made mistakes in my life, people have forgiven me,” he said in footage from CBS New York. “And I will do the same.”

Thomas received a 25-year-to-life sentence for second-degree murder and attempted murder in a drive-by shooting on Christmas Eve 2004 in Brooklyn. The shooting killed 14-year-old Anderson Bercy and wounded Kadeem Drummond. Two others were also arrested — charges were dropped against one man before the trial and the second man was acquitted.

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