On Wednesday, October 24, 2012 CM beneficiary, 44-year old Cathy Watkins, emerged with attorney Paul Casteleiro and CM’s Kate Germond from the Bronx County Hall of Justice, and for the first time in 18 years was able to embrace her tearfully awaiting daughter, her three grandchildren, as well as a phalanx of friends and supporters.
Due to a seismic collapse of the Bronx criminal justice system, Cathy and four others were falsely convicted of the 1995 robbery and murder of a Senegalese immigrant cab driver. Thank God for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office who, earlier this year, developed compelling confessional evidence that two former members of a Bronx drug gang called “Sex, Money Murder” were the real culprits of this crime.
Standing outside the courthouse and surrounded by her loved ones minutes into her freedom, Cathy told the New York Times, “I’m free now and I’m happy. I feel like I got a new sense of life.”