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Man Freed After Decades Behind Bars For Deadly Fire

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By Paul Johnson

Tucson, Arizona (CNN) - A man convicted in a deadly arson has been exonerated after serving more than 40 years in prison.
The fire happened in December 1970 at a hotel in Tucson, Arizona.
29 people were killed.
Within hours of the incident, police arrested 16-year-old Louis Taylor... who had been inside the hotel.
Tuesday Taylor entered a "no contest" plea, clearing his way to freedom after 43 years in jail.
The plea sets aside his original conviction and gives him credit for time served.
Forensic experts now say they can no longer determine whether someone set the fire.
Taylor has always maintained his innocence.
He spoke briefly to reporters after he traded his orange prison garb for a T-shirt and slacks and walked out of prison.
It feels good to feel mother earth under my feet, free mother earth.
(reporter) How did you feel when you were sitting there and the judge was counting down the pleas, you knew you were getting closer.
Yeah, it's just you know, that was only part of the story. They don't know the whole story yet. Our story's still out there but it's just unfortunate, it's the tale of two tragedies, the hotel fire and me getting convicted for it.
One of the original trial experts, fire investigator Cy Holmes, still stands by his testimony...But his testimony can't pin the fire on Taylor.


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