Man facing murder charges speaks out after being released from jail under new law

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Central Valley man who spent nearly a decade in jail after facing murder charges is now home with his family.

Neko Wilson was arrested back in 2009 for the killings of a Kerman couple.

Outside of the Fresno County Jail, screams could be heard from inside the lobby.

This as Wilson walked out after spending 9 years, 2 months and 13 days incarcerated.

"It's just unbelievable it so real it's a miracle," said Wilson.

The 36-year-old was arrested back in 2009 for his involvement in the murder of a Kerman couple during a marijuana home robbery.

Wilson was one of at least six people in on the plot.

However, he never left his car or went into the house when the killings of Gary and Sandra Debartolo took place.

Still, for nearly a decade Wilson faced murder charges under the felony murder rule which allows prosecutors to charge people with murder if they take part in a dangerous felony and someone gets killed in the process.

"They charged me with the death penalty," said Wilson. "I didn't kill nobody you can't fathom understand that and to get the chance to walk out."

That chance made possible because of his brother, a Bay Area attorney, who fought to change the law and won last month in getting a slight tweak.

"The people we are talking about they didn't kill anyone they did not murder anyone and they did not have a willingness to kill," said Neko's brother. "The felony murder rule is unjust it's barbaric."

But Sheriff Margaret Mims disagrees and supports the old law.

"Criminals don't always act alone and in this particular case there were several people involved who all should be held accountable and the unfortunate thing is now they won't be and it's not fair to the Debartolo's and community of crime," said Sheriff Mims.

Nonetheless, Jamilia Rand from Sacramento says this new bill has given her hope because she claims her son is in jail for a crime he also did not commit.

"This case marks the very first case that someone has been freed and I am hopeful that my son's case will come back with a not guilty conviction," said Rand.
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