Two Georgia men were released from prison – and one of them was exonerated – after spending more than two decades behind bars, when a true crime podcast revealed new evidence that all but destroyed the case authorities had built against them, the Guardian reports. Darrell Lee Clark and co-defendant Cain Joshua Storey were released after spending more than 25 years imprisoned for the 1996 shooting death of 15-year-old Brian Bowling, a friend of the pair, said the Georgia Innocence Project. New evidence from the true-crime podcast Proof disputed the prosecution’s case that Clark and Storey had murdered Bowling with premeditation. “You never think something like that is going to happen to you,” said Clark, who thanked the Innocence Project and the podcast. “It’s been surreal to say the least,” Storey added. “I believe it’s going to be great. One step at a time.”
Bowling had died after being shot in the head. Right before his death, Bowling had been on the phone with his girlfriend, telling her that he was playing Russian roulette with a gun. The gun had been brought over by Storey, Bowling’s best friend. Storey had also been in the room with Bowling when the gun was fired. Police had initially charged Storey with manslaughter in connection to Bowling’s death, believing the shooting had been unintentional but still illegal. At the urging of Bowling’s family, police began investigating his death as a murder, a much more serious charge.