Last Friday, after a whirlwind week, Eugene Gilyard came home to his family after over 15 years. The homecoming was an emotional high point after years of battling to prove his innocence. On October 8, 2013, Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi granted Eugene’s petition and vacated his conviction. For the next month, Eugene and his team waited tensely to see whether the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office would appeal the judge’s decision.
On November 9, 2013, we learned that the DA did not appeal, and in fact was conducting independent investigations to determine whether they wanted to retry Eugene and his co-defendant, Lance Felder. While Judge DeFino-Nastasi wanted Eugene and Lance released immediately, given that they are both still facing murder charges, she accepted the DA’s request that they be released to house arrest. Just one week later, on Friday November 15, Eugene came home. Welcome home, Eugene!