- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A 21-year-old New York man has been cleared of the murder charge that sent him to prison as a teenager.

A state Supreme Court judge in Buffalo Monday dismissed the indictment against Jerome Thagard, who spent nearly four years in prison before being released last month.

In court, a smiling Thagard hugged his aunt. He declined to speak with reporters.

Thagard was 16 when he was pulled out of his high school class and eventually convicted in the 2009 shooting death of Steven Northrup, a real estate appraiser and father of two.

Thagard was released from prison in December after police found that the gun used to kill Northrup had since been used in two more shootings.

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