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Second man featured in “The Innocent Man” to be released

Published: Dec. 20, 2020 at 7:04 PM CST
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ADA, Okla. (KXII) - An Ada man featured in the book turned Netflix documentary “The Innocent Man” will be released after an order by a district judge.

“Oh, it was happy. I had some happy cries going on,” said Melvin Ward, Tommy Ward’s Brother.

It was 1985 when Melvin’s brother Tommy first entered prison.

“35 five years and this is the best news we’ve had,” said Melvin.

“The Innocent Man” was first released 2006, and tells the story of Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot who were charged and accused of kidnapping, robbery and first degree murder of Donna Haraway in 1984.

Fontenot was released from prison last year and now Ward will follow.

“He lost his life, it’s 35 years of his life gone and i said this before he’s not going to have kids,” said Melvin.

Melvin says he sees the light at the end of the tunnel, but expects the state to appeal the ruling.

“He needs to be able to start his life, not start but needs to be re-entered into his life again,” said Melvin.

The news broke about Tommy’s release last week, on the same day of Fontenot’s release from prison a year ago.

“Very positive for the family and for Tommy. He’ll eventually be able to come home, I pray that he’s home for Christmas,” said Melvin.

Melvin said Tommy will have a present waiting for him when he’s finally home.

“He’s number one present, I’d run down and get him a fishing pole. Because that’s all he talks about is wanting to go fishing when he gets out,” said Melvin.

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