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Wisconsin man freed amid new DNA evidence

Jan. 9, 2009 at 8:10 PM

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A Milwaukee man serving a life term for murder has been released from prison after new DNA tests showed he was not involved in a 1995 homicide, officials said.

Chaunte Ott, 35, was released from prison Thursday. He was serving time for the murder of a 16-year-old South Milwaukee runaway, Jessica Payne, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday.

"It's a dream come true. It's a beautiful thing," Ott said after his release from the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage, Wis.

Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams said prosecutors did not oppose Ott's release because "it was probably the fair and reasonable thing to do," the newspaper reported.

The district attorney's office requested six months to determine whether to schedule another trial for Ott.

"We're going to be re-investigating some of the aspects of the case and come into court probably this summer to see if we want to retry the case," said Williams, who heads the district attorney's homicide unit.

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