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Attorney Marissa Bluestine Legal Director of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project hugs Shaurn Thomas leaving Frackville Correctional Institution on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Frackville, Pa. Thomas was exonerated after spending 24 years in prison. (Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
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Philadelphia man out of prison after 24 years

Attorney Marissa Bluestine Legal Director of the Pennsylvania Innocence Project hugs Shaurn Thomas leaving Frackville Correctional Institution on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, in Frackville, Pa. Thomas was exonerated after spending 24 years in prison. (Steven M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Philadelphia man who was exonerated of murder has been released from prison after 24 years.

Shaurn Thomas’ conviction was removed during a hearing Tuesday, and he was released from the prison in Frackville that night.

The 43-year-old says he got to use a cellphone for the first time and plans to eat the Ultimate Feast at Red Lobster as his first meal.

Thomas was convicted of participating in the slaying of a businessman who was shot in 1990 while taking $25,000 to a check-cashing store.

Thomas claimed he was at a hearing on the day of the killing.

The jury wasn’t swayed, and he earned a life sentence in 1993.

Thomas says he doesn’t hold a grudge and never lost faith he would be freed.

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