Wrongly Accused Man Enjoying His New Freedom - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Wrongly Accused Man Enjoying His New Freedom

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by Chris Conte

EAST NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An East Nashville man wrongly accused of killing a Memphis store owner nearly three decades ago is humbly enjoying his life after death row.

"The happiness I felt then and I still feel, I think that for me I'm such a happy man," explained 55-year-old Ndume Olatushani.

In 1983, Ndume came to Tennessee for the first time in his life after he was arrested for allegedly killing and robbing a man in Memphis.

Funny thing is, he said that until he was brought to Tennessee in handcuffs he'd never stepped foot inside state lines.

"I was actually put on trial before an all-white jury in 1985 and I was being accused of killing a white man, so you can kinda figure that out in terms of how race played in to it," he explained.

Ndume spent 28 years in prison, 20 of them were spent on death row, all while he fought for his freedom, but appeals were continually dismissed.

"It's truly a miracle that I'm sitting here because like I said I'm not sitting here because the system worked," Ndume said about the whole experience.

After a long, grueling process his case was finally overturned in 2012, and on June 1 of last year he walked out of the Shelby County Jail as a free man.

"Any time we can get through some adversity in life and we can get through on the other end, then it wasn't meant for us," he adds.

Ndume and his wife now live in East Nashville and he said he doesn't take any minute of it for granted.

"A lot was taken from me but I'm so fortunate, I really am."

Email: cconte@newschannel5.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/NC5ChrisConte
Twitter: Twitter.com/ChrisConte

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