Wrongfully convicted Georgia man shows life after exoneration still isn’t easy

Joey Watkins, who was wrongfully convicted of murder at 20 years old, spent over two decades in prison before being exonerated at 42. Following the dismissal of his case by Floyd County Superior Court Judge Bryan Johnson, thanks to the efforts of the Georgia Innocence Project and new evidence like cell phone records proving his innocence, Watkins finally regained his freedom.

After being out on bond and wearing an ankle monitor since January 2023, he was officially cleared in September.

Since then, the media attention has faded, and Watkins has returned to Rome, Georgia, aiming to move forward. As he showed his small property, he shared his plans for a business venture, acknowledging the need for repairs like fixing the air conditioning.

Despite the challenges, Watkins remains optimistic about the future, proud of the progress he has made in renovating the space for his business endeavors.