Family and friends gather to celebrate Dontae Sharpe's freedom

GREENVILLE (WITN) A little more than 24 hours after Dontae Sharpe walked out of a Pitt County courthouse as a free man, family and supporters gathered for a celebration.

Sharpe spent 25 years behind bars for the Greenville murder of George Radcliffe. He maintained his innocence all of these years, saying he was not the one who killed Radcliffe.

It's been a long road to justice for Sharpe and his family and at Friday's celebration, they were finally able to all come together outside of prison.

Since there was no retrial for Dontae's case, he is now back in the arms of loved ones.

The celebration for Sharpe kicked off around 4 p.m. Friday. Sharpe's cousin and younger brother said it was hard growing up knowing Dontae was innocent but still behind bars.

Justin Staton, Sharpe's younger brother says, "Everybody's happy now, we can do all the things we wanted to do back in the past when we didn't get to do, I get to actually live with my brother now again."

Sharpe's cousin says this has been a long journey.

"You know, the family's at peace, long awaited, long overdue," says Dijon Sharpe.

Family members say Sharpe just wants to enjoy his new found freedom and be with his family.