John Nolley | KERA News

John Nolley

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

A man who spent almost 19 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit was declared innocent in a Tarrant County courtroom on Wednesday.

John Nolley, now 44, was wrongfully convicted in 1998 of murdering a Bedford woman based largely on the testimony of a lying jailhouse informant. Two decades later, his good name has been restored, and his case helped spur changes in Texas law.

Paul Moseley / Fort Worth Star-Telegram

John Nolley always insisted he didn't kill his friend.

He spent nearly 19 years locked up for the gruesome murder. Then, a judge released him from prison, citing evidence that undermined the jailhouse informant who testified against him – evidence never given to his lawyers during the trial.