Kimber Edwards
MIssouri Department of Corrections

For years Kimber Edwards, sentenced to death in his ex-wife’s murder in 2000, proclaimed that he did not hire anyone to carry out a killing. Now someone has finally listened.

Democratic Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday commuted Edwards’ death sentence to life in prison after a newspaper reported that the man convicted of carrying out the killing said he acted alone, according to Raw Story.

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Nixon, however, said in a statement that he was satisfied that the evidence in the case supported Edwards’ first-degree-murder conviction and that Edwards would remain in prison for the rest of his life, the report says.

“This is a step not taken lightly, and only after significant consideration of the totality of the circumstances,” Nixon said in the statement.  

Orthell Wilson, who had claimed that Edwards hired him to kill his ex-wife, Kimberly Cantrell, recently changed his story, telling a journalist that he had acted on his own, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Edwards had been scheduled to be executed Tuesday.

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Edwards reportedly confessed to the crime initially but said during his trial and ever since that he was innocent, the report says. Edwards suffers from a form of autism that could have made him vulnerable to manipulation by aggressive interrogation techniques, thus possibly causing him to make a false confession, his lawyers say.

Read more at Raw Story.