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Update: Wilson man serving life sentence released from jail - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Update: Wilson man serving life sentence released from jail

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WILSON, N.C. -

 A Wilson man freed from an Atlanta jail is back in the east.

A Georgia jury convicted John McNeil of murder for a 2006 shooting he claims was self-defense.

McNeil says he only killed the man because he attacked him on his property with a box cutter.

An appeals court ruled in McNeil's favor after his wife and the NAACP fought to get him out.

After more than six years in prison, an energetic crowd of family and friends welcomed John McNeil back home Wednesday afternoon.

But it was a bitter sweet homecoming. On one hand he says he can finally breathe, "Having said that I'm also grieving," McNeil explained.

He started to tear up while about the one person who could only there in spirit: His wife Anita.

She lost her battle to breast cancer two weeks ago, just 10 days before he got out.

"I lost my best friend, my lover, my wife, my everything," he said.

Anita, along with the NAACP, led the fight for McNeil's freedom

"Anybody that has kids and has a family would have done the same thing," said long-time fiend Greg Williams.

Supporters say he was wrongfully convicted because of his race.

McNeil says his focus now is on his two sons, grieving his wife, and trying to put his life back together.

"No matter what type of illness or whatever adversity that you are up against if you truly believe that God has you, without any shadow of a doubt than it's totally in God's hands," said McNeil.

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