Yolanda Madden is a free woman and says she was falsely imprisoned for 4 years.
Madden was first arrested back in 2005 on drug charges.
Months later, in 2006, she was convicted.
In 2008 ex-drug officer Barry Cooper set-up Odessa Police to bring attention to Madden’s case.
Then last in November, an evidentiary hearing was granted and on Friday, December 1, 2009 Federal Judge Rob Junell vacated her sentence.
On Friday, December 18, 2009, she was set free but there is a possible re-trial this coming March.
“I dropped her off in prison; toughest thing I ever did in my life,” said Raymond Madden, Yolanda’s father.
Painful memories that melt away as Yolanda Madden emerges a free woman – an emotional reunion that came at a price.
“Four years. We’ve been working for four years and its been a struggle, we’ve been stonewalled,” Raymond Madden continued.
Madden said he spent his entire life savings gathering the evidence he says proves his daughter innocent.
“If he knows he’s right, he doesn’t give up,” said Doris Madden-Purdy, Ramond’s mother.
An unstoppable drive, even through Yolanda’s darkest moments.
“A couple years ago we had a conversation and I think I was ready to stop and he wouldn’t do it, he wouldn’t do it and I’m thankful that he believed in this the whole time and just didn’t stop,” said Yolanda Madden.
Now she goes home to her grandmothers – a place that’s been the stuff of dreams until now.
“We’ve just struggled for this day for so long and just to be able to hold her hand and to feel her close, it’s just a wonderful feeling,” said Madden-Purdy.
A feeling the family says should give others hope.
“If they know they’re right, just keep fighting for it as long as they can,” Madden-Purdy continued.
It’s a continuing fight for the Madden family as Yolanda faces a retrial this spring.
But for today, just for this moment, it’s family and freedom.
“I’m just glad to be home,” said Yolanda Madden.
– Article from CBS 7 News on December 18, 2009.