ST. LOUIS – A historic event occurred in downtown St. Louis on Tuesday, as Lamar Johnson walked out of the courtroom a free man after serving nearly 30 years behind bars.

“It is hereby ordered that the motion of the Circuit Attorney of the 22nd Judicial Circuit for the benefit of Lamar Johnson is granted,” said Judge David Mason.

It was an emotional moment in the courtroom as Judge David Mason confirmed what Johnson has felt for nearly 30 years: his innocence. There were tears of joy from family members and attorneys as they embraced Johnson, something they haven’t been able to do since he was sent to prison back in 1995. Johnson was wrongfully convicted of the murder of Marcus Boyd and sentenced to life in prison.

During a hearing back in December, FOX 2 learned the only witness to identify Johnson as the murderer had recanted his testimony. Two men have also come forward and admitted to killing Boyd.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has spent years fighting for this decision.

“This is an amazing day that we showed that the City of St. Louis and the state of Missouri is about justice and not defending the finality of a conviction,” Gardner said. “Mr. Lamar Johnson has been incarcerated for over 20 plus years. This is the time for him and his attorneys, and his family to spend time with each other. This is Valentine’s Day, and this is historical.”