WNBA star Maya Moore helps free Missouri man from prison


JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri – A Missouri man was released from prison on Wednesday after a county attorney refused to try again, punctuating years of work by WNBA star Maya Moore and other supporters who argued that he had been falsely convicted of burglary and assault.

Moore was there when Jonathan Irons, 40, left the Jefferson City correctional center. She applauded when Irons approached a group of people awaiting his release. She then knelt down at one point before joining a group around Irons.

He was serving a 50-year sentence following the non-lethal shooting of an owner in the St. Louis area when Irons was 16 years old. But a judge handed down his conviction in March, citing a series of problems with the case, including a fingerprint report that had not been released to the Iron Defense team, according to the New York Times .

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office appealed without success to the judge’s decision, and the St. Charles County District Attorney decided not to retry.

Moore and Irons became friends after meeting in the prison ministry, according to the Times. Moore, 31, of Jefferson City, Missouri, who played UConn before helping lead Minnesota to four WNBA titles, suspended his career last season to help Irons.

Moore said in January that she plans to spend a second season and miss the Tokyo Olympics. After the Irons’ convictions were overturned in March, she told the AP that her plans had not changed.

“My decision to take another year was greater than this case,” she said at the time. “But obviously, this matter was in the foreground of my mind. I’m looking forward to when it’s done to finally rest and spend time with my family. “


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