Wilson man could get out of Georgia jail
WILSON, N.C. (WTVD) -- The community will gather Wednesday evening to rally around a man trying to get out of jail before he heads to court for a possible new trial.
Anita McNeil has had her hopes dashed before, but Wednesday she ABC11 that she's cautiously optimistic that her husband will finally be released from a Georgia prison where he's spent the last 5-1/2 years.
John and Anita McNeill were building a new home in Georgia in 200 when John McNeil shot and killed Brian Epp, who was a contractor working on the house.
Despite an eyewitness who said Epp attacked McNeil with a knife and police testimony that McNeil acted in self-defense, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
But after years of legal wrangling, a Georgia judge granted McNeil's petition of habeas corpus, which means the judge believed he's being unlawfully imprisoned.
Barring an appeal by the Georgia attorney general, John McNeil could soon be a free man.
"While it is a big deal and while we are happy, these six years have taught us that you take one day at a time," said Anita.
Anita McNeil is also battling breast cancer right now. It's in advanced stages and it's spreading. So she's been fighting on two fronts.
Meantime, it's a waiting game for her husband's freedom. If Georgia's attorney general does not appeal, John McNeil could be home by Thanksgiving.
wilson county, local/state, joel brown
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