A court hearing could lead to freedom for a man who has spent 39 years in prison for a crime he says he didn’t do. The case against Darius Elam has caught the attention of advocates who want him released from prison.

This case dates back to 1983 when Elam was accused of the murder and aggravated robbery of Rick Bowen. Elam was never charged with murder but has spent the last 39 years in prison for the robbery.

Friends and family of Elam were present in the courtroom Wednesday. They hope the judge will consider new developments in the case — namely two specific issues.

One involves DNA, that the family says does not conclusively show Elam was involved in the murder of Bowen.

The other issue is one of a witness statement that has now been recanted. That witness apparently got in touch with advocates pursuing the release of Elam.

“The informant is why we are here today,” said Tammie Lang Campbell, with the Honey Brown Hope Foundation. “He has recanted his statement. Hopefully and prayerfully, he will keep with that.”

“I think we should prove that he has provided false testimony and this is something that contributed to my brother’s conviction,” said Darius’ brother Samuel Elam.

Family members hope this hearing leads to the eventual release of Elam, who has maintained his innocence over the last four decades.

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