NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Brooklyn prosecutors have cleared an immigrant from Barbados who spent more than a year in prison for a 1986 burglary they say never took place.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Neil Firetog on Thursday granted District Attorney Kenneth Thompson’s motion to vacate Michael Waithe’s 1987 conviction.

The 52-year-old man said he had many sleepless nights, but now he feels like he’s been given a new beginning. As a green card holder, he had faced deportation based on the conviction.

When Waithe heard that his conviction would be vacated, “I cried all the way to work,” he told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “I was driving the car and saying, ‘Thank you, God. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.'”

Prosecutors said they began reviewing Waithe’s case after he wrote them a letter last fall. He was convicted on the testimony of a woman who lived in the building where he worked as security guard. There was no physical evidence.

“This hardworking and innocent man came to our country for a better life and ended up being framed and went to prison for a crime that he didn’t commit,” Thompson told the judge.

Waithe’s attorney, Matthew Smalls, thanked the DA.

“They sent investigators down to Georgia to interview the complaining witness, who subsequently recanted and said that she had made everything up,” Small said.

Waithe, a father of four, plans to get married next week. Thompson will be among the guests, Diamond reported.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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