Charges were dismissed Thursday against a teenager accused in the death of his twin brother.
Derris Lewis was released from custody at about 2 p.m. after prosecutors announced that a handprint that allegedly belonged to him tested negative for blood, 10TV News reported.
After being embraced by family and friends, Lewis rushed out of the Franklin County Jail to a car waiting for him.
As Lewis left the jail he struggled for words to express his feelings.
"I was fighting for my life, point blank, Lewis said. "My family knew I was innocent. It's just the point that the belief of my lawyers. They did a great job.
"I knew this day was coming," he said.
From the jail, Lewis and his family drove the cemetery to visit the resting place of his twin brother, Dennis.
Dennis Lewis was shot and killed inside his mother's Loretta Avenue home in January 2008 His mother said three men forced their way into the home and shot Dennis in his bedroom.
Derris Lewis was charged with his brother's slaying after police said a bloody palm print found on a wall inside the home was traced back to him.
On Thursday, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said that was not the case.
New tests showed the palm print was actually found several inches above the blood found on the wall, Kocot reported.
"We felt we had no evidence to implicate Derris Lewis in this crime," O'Brien said.
The defense team said it believed a lack of communication between police and crime lab analysts is to blame for what they called a misunderstanding.
"None of these experts every get together and determine exactly where the print is," said defense attorney Adam Nemann. "The result is we have blood in the area and we have a print, and it's probably a problem that occurs at crime scenes a lot if this is the way it's going to be done."
Diane Lewis, the twins' sister, said she knew she would see her brother set free.
"I can't say it enough that I am so happy that this day is finally here," she said. "We knew it was coming. It was just a matter of time."
Police have said there are no other suspects in the death of Dennis Lewis.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for additional information.
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