FOX 32 NEWS - He was accused of arson at the age of 14. Now, as a 38-year-old man, Adam Gray had his first full day of freedom.
"I spent more days believing this day wouldn't come than I had days believing it would come," Gray said.
Gray shared his story along with his attorneys Thursday. It was March of 1993 when he was arrested and accused of setting his ex-girlfriend's apartment building on fire.
Two elderly people were killed. He was convicted to mandatory life in prison without parole. Authorities claimed it was arson.
"Mr. Gray, at the age of 14, was subjected to 7 hours of police interrogation with no lawyer without his parents present after pressure of interrogation confessed," Gray's attorney Terri Mascherin said.
Gray's attorneys said prosecutors used junk science to claim the fire as arson and that new advancements in “fire science" showed there was no evidence of arson at all.
Gray said it was an art teacher he had in juvenile detention center that contacted his lawyers and the Exoneration Project who took his case pro bono in 2010.
The case was dismissed Wednesday and he walked out a free man from Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg, Ill.
Gray said he had days where he had all but given up.
"I had to make peace that I was going to die in prison for something I didn't do. And in doing that I guess I cleared my head of a lot of the things in my head and peace of mind and day to day. My own peace of mind was the most valuable thing I had in prison in order to survive,” Gray said
Gray said he's going to take some time to reconnect with his family and get his sea legs back before he decides his next move