ADA, Okla. (KFOR) – It was a day decades in the making.
Perry Lott is officially a free man.
Lott danced out of the Pontotoc County courtroom Tuesday. He is no longer a convicted felon.
“I basically can’t put into words how I feel. But I can put into words how grateful and thankful I am,” said Lott.
In 1987, a woman who was raped in her Ada home picked Lott out of a police lineup after seeing his tooth.
“This lineup was kind of nuts,” said Scheck. “He was the only one with a gold tooth.”
The next year, a jury convicted him even though no physical evidence tied him to the case.
DNA and legal expert, Barry Scheck, who garnered fame as part of OJ Simpson’s “Dream Team,” works to right wrongful convictions with the organization he co-founded, The Innocence Project.
“It’s a new day in Ada, we hope,” said Scheck.
In 2014, Scheck’s team DNA tested the victim’s rape kit.
“The post-conviction DNA test indicates there were two male DNA samples that did not check to Mr. Lott,” said Erik Johnson, the Pontotoc County District Attorney.
However, the state suspected the rape kit must’ve been contaminated by crime scene detectives. The former district attorney offered Lott a so-called settlement agreement, essentially putting him on indefinite probation with a felony conviction.
Lott wanted out of prison.
“Sometimes, we can get so tired and get so frustrated about the fight for truth, that we compromise,” said Lott.
Lott was released in 2018 as a convicted felon. He spent 31 years in prison.
This year, The Innocence Project asked new DA Johnson to take a look.
“I took on an extensive review of Mr. Lott’s case as well as the investigators in my office,” said the district attorney.
On Tuesday, a judge vacated Lott’s conviction.
After Judge Steven Kessinger vacated the conviction, he told Lott “God bless you.”
“I’m being birthed into a whole new life out of the womb of captivity and bondage,” said Lott.
Lott’s not sure what’s next in life, but he sure knew where he and his team were spending their celebratory meal.
“My next move is Red Lobster,” Lott said.
Lott’s attorney said the conviction has impacted every part of his client’s life, such as employment, housing, and volunteering opportunities.
They have set up a GoFundMe to help with expenses he may need.