DETROIT (WJBK) - After spending over 17 years behind bars for a double murder he says he didn't commit, Mubarez Ahmed is a free man.
"I will grant the people's motion. Mr. Ahmed the case against you is dismissed," the judge said.
"Thank you sir," Ahmed, 48. said as the court room erupted in applause.
"I wanted to tear up," said Ahmed. "I am just happy they did it finally."
Although released from prison last month, Ahmed forced to wear a tether. He was unsure where the case stood until Friday.
"The way they were playing with this case and everything, I thought we were going to (have to) take it to trial," he said. "Until today when they said it's dismissed."
Back in 2002 Ahmed was convicted of two counts of second degree murder for the homicides of two people shot in their car on Detroit's west side.
Ahmed was sentenced to 40 to 60 years in prison but last month his conviction was vacated as the sole identifying witness recanted her testimony.
"I can't imagine what his having been there knowing I didn't do it," said attorney Todd Perkins.
With the University of Michigan's Innocence Clinic, David Moran says more than 25 student attorneys spent nine years on Ahmed's case.
"We're just grateful that it's over." said David Moran.
They did it with several other attorneys and former FOX 2 reporter turned private investigator Scott Lewis, working pro bono.
"The more time that passes the harder it is to prove that somebody is innocent," Lewis said. "It took so many people collaborating on this."
The defense team says the evidence against Ahmed was fabricated.
"We intend to hold the officers accountable for the made up evidence they will get their day of reckoning," said defense attorney Wolfgang Mueller.
They say the person they believe committed the double homicide is in prison for another crime, committed after Ahmed's conviction.
"We have somebody who’s in prison wrongfully," Mueller said. "And then we have the true wrong doer committing more violent crimes including murder. So everybody loses."
Now this group vows to keep fighting and get true justice for those victims. Ahmed says his first call was going to be breaking the life-changing news to his daughter.
"I'm on my way to get this tether off of me," Ahmed said. "Thank God."