New Evidence Frees Tulsa Man Jailed For 2012 Murder
TULSA, Oklahoma - He was held for murder, burglary and armed robbery, but Friday afternoon, prosecutors wiped the slate clean, saying he's not their man.
Reginald Girod is a free man. And we broke the news to his grandmother. She hadn't heard the charges had been dropped. She said she's been praying for her grandson's release for the past eight months.
The Tulsa County District Attorney said their mission and duty is to seek truth, not convictions and Tulsa police agree.
It's been 10 months since Robert Long was murdered in his doorway at the Fairmont Terrace apartment complex.
"Probably narcotic related, it was either gonna be a robbery or some sort of argument over the quality, quantity or narcotics being dealt out of the apartment," said Homicide Detective Sgt. Dave Walker.
Police arrested Reginald Girod almost two weeks after the 19-year-old's death.
Walker said Girod had been to the apartment prior to the shooting.
"The evidence we were going on at the time were eye-witness testimony, and it lead us to believe Girod was one of the shooters in that apartment," Walker said.
But he said just because an arrest is made, doesn't mean the case is closed.
"We don't stop, the case keeps going, we've got to keep investigating," Walker said. "We want people arrested, yes, but we want the right people arrested."
As time went on, Walker said witnesses' stories stopped matching up and something didn't feel right.
"The more we looked at it, the more we looked at it, the more problems we had with Girod being in custody," Walker said.
Walker said an anonymous source came forward, pointing the finger toward a new group of suspects, saying Girod didn't pull the trigger.
"We have talked to them. They know who they are, they know we know, they just don't know how we know," he said.
Walker said he can't talk much about the new evidence that's come in, but said detectives can't place Girod at the apartment at the time of the crime and keeping an innocent man behind bars isn't right.
"We couldn't live with that, so it came down to, we'll get him out and start over," he said.
Walker said detectives aren't at the point where they can make any further arrests, but police have talked with the new suspects in the case.
The DA said the hope is, at the appropriate time, new charges will be filed and justice will be served for the victim and his family.