Police had said Rhynes was one of three masked gunmen who entered the restaurant demanding money from the safe. A scuffle ensued, and the owner and a customer were shot and killed before the suspects fled empty-handed.

But the evidence against Rhynes was slim: no DNA, fingerprints or witnesses ever placed him at the scene, the newspaper reported. Prosecutors at the time were prepared to drop the charges before the trial judge urged them to forge ahead.

“We can’t get those years back, those hours, those minutes,” Miller, Rhynes’ daughter, told the newspaper. “The journey has not been easy. But today I’m grateful.”

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