Los Angeles: A 59-year-old US woman who spent 17 years behind bars for murder had her conviction overturned on Friday, after lawyers cast doubt on the main witness against her.
Susan Marie Mellen blew kisses to her children as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Arnold dismissed the case against her, prompting an eruption of applause in the courtroom.
Mellen was jailed for life for the 1997 murder of Richard Daly, who was beaten to death. Her conviction was based largely on the testimony of a woman who told authorities Mellen had confessed to the killing.
But the witness`s own sister, a police officer, called her "probably the biggest liar I`ve ever met in my life." The witness died in 2006.
The LA judge ordered Mellen be set free as soon as possible. Her daughter Jessica Besch called it the "happiest day of my life," adding that it "felt like a dream."