The 27-year-old was released from the Leon County Jail Thursday afternoon after nearly five months behind bars.
"What can you say? You have mixed feelings. On one hand you're happy they dropped the charges and you're sad that he's been in jail for five months for a crime he didn't commit," says Joel Remland, Christopher James' attorney.
Christopher James' lawyer says in 30 years, he's never had a client cleared by DNA evidence until now. James maintained his innocence all along, but a backlog in processing samples at FDLE meant the results of DNA tests were not ready until this week.
"It was my position and my client's position that DNA would free him. We were waiting for several months for the DNA samples to free my client," says Joel Remland.
Prosecutors say the DNA sample did match another man in the state data base, 42-year-old Johnny Holmes. Warrants were just issued for his arrest as he sits in jail on other charges.
“It was somebody else, absolutely, so it's very surprising. It's never happened in my 13 years, I've never seen it happen," says prosecutor Robin Lotane.
Prosecutors say the two men do resemble each other; perhaps that's why the victim originally picked James out of a photo lineup.
We did call Christopher James and his family Friday to see if they would discuss the impact this has had on their lives. They declined.
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