After 18 years in prison, MTIP client Richard Raugust stepped out of the Sander's County jail and into the arms of his devoted family.
In 1998, Richard was convicted for the murder of his best friend, Joseph Tash — a crime he did not commit.
In 2015, District Court Judge, James Wheelis reversed Richard's conviction on the grounds that Richard's constitutional rights were violated when eyewitness testimony was withheld from his defense at the time of trial. This eyewitness testimony confirmed Richard's alibi for the night in question. The testimony raised serious doubt about whether Richard would have been convicted if this information was available to the jury those 18 years ago. Judge Wheelis ordered a new trial and released Richard on his own recognizance.
A lot of work led up to the moment when Richard smelled fresh air, hugged his mom and sister, and stood before the media choked with emotion as he spoke about obtaining true justice for his best friend.
There is much more work to be done as MTIP prepares a new trial for Richard and gets him integrated back into society, but in the meantime, MTIP is proud of another step on the path to justice.
Check out the pictures below from the bond hearing and Richard's first meal after his release.