Wrongly convicted man exonerated, released in time to reunite with dying dad
11/10/2016 2:49 pm PST
How many times have we heard an inmate say they're innocent, that they've got the wrong guy?
In the case of Norman McIntosh, he said that for nearly 15 years, until finally finding himself in an agonizing race against time to prove his innocence before his ailing father died
Norman was just 23 when he was charged with a grisly murder, shooting dead a gang rival and wounding another on the South Side of Chicago. The shooting occurred on Nov. 23, 2001. McIntosh was convicted in 2002.
"They said they were supposed to have robbed me earlier in the day and that was retaliation for it," said McIntosh.
McIntosh insisted from the beginning police had the wrong man, and even provided them with an alibi.
"Earlier that morning I checked into a hospital, got treated for an illness and was at my girlfriend's house for the rest of the day," said McIntosh.
But McIntosh would be wrongly convicted of first-degree murder and other charges, and sentenced to 45 years in prison.
Then, after more than a decade behind bars, The victim's brother recanted evidence that had helped convict Norman McIntosh, saying cops had coerced him into misidentifying him in a police lineup.
Norman McIntosh's dying dad hired Jennifer Blagg, an attorney who specializes in wrongful conviction cases. And she tracked down other witnesses who had also falsely identified him in a lineup.
"I found two 12-year-olds and they both recanted, and told me the same story," said Blagg. "I asked, 'Did Norman do it?' They said, 'I don't know who did it. But James told us who to pick. He said 'Pick the guy in the red shirt.'"
At the same time, McIntosh got news that his father, Norman Senior, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and had only months to live.
His dad had stood by him and believed in his innocence from day one.
McIntosh's hopes of being freed and seeing his father again jumped when Blagg tracked down that alternate suspect, linking his fingerprints and car to the crime scene.
Norman McIntosh walked out of prison on October 4 into the waiting arms of his overjoyed family.
McIntosh at last got to hug his 14-year-old son, Hassan, who was born just months after he was locked up.
And he had a tearful reunion with ailing dad Norman Senior.
Norman Senior died just weeks later, peaceful and content after seeing his son finally free.
"I think he held on as long as he did just so he could see me home," said McIntosh.