Apr 2, 2013 5:05 PM by KVOA.com
PHOENIX - A man whose murder conviction in a 1970 Arizona hotel fire that killed 29 people was called into question has entered a plea, clearing the way for his freedom.
The plea deal Tuesday marks a stunning reversal for an inmate who was just 16 years old when he was arrested in the fire. Louis Taylor has been behind bars ever since and will leave prison at the age of 59.
He's since spent more than four decades in prison, consistently maintaining his innocence after being sentenced to 28 consecutive life terms in the December 1970 fire at the Pioneer Hotel in Tucson.
While prosecutors still believe Taylor is guilty they agreed to a deal that allows him to enter 28 'no contest' pleas on murder charges and go free. There were concerns over whether they would be able to present evidence and living witnesses in a new trial.
Taylor, who is black, contends he was wrongly convicted by an all-white jury after he says police failed to investigate other suspects.
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