“It is the end to her nearly 17-year nightmare . . . . It’s over.” –Innocence Project Director of Post-Conviction Litigation Vanessa Potkin, The Intercept
Kirstin Lobato was just a teenager when she was charged with and convicted of the brutal 2001 murder of a homeless man in Las Vegas. For nearly 17 years, Lobato, who goes by the nickname “Blaise,” fought to prove that she was wrongfully convicted. Finally last week, with help from the Innocence Project, Lobato was declared innocent and freed when the County District Attorney’s Office moved to dismiss all charges related to the 2001 murder.
Donate: Help Lobato transition home after wrongful conviction
“Blaise is a survivor. She has endured abuse in her community and by our criminal justice system,” says Innocence Project Director of Post-Conviction Litigation Vanessa Potkin, one of Lobato’s attorneys. “But she has prevailed. She is an incredibly strong woman with a story to tell and a whole lot to share with the world.”
Check out some of the amazing photos from her first moments of freedom.
Kirstin Lobato reunites with her father minutes after her release from prison. Lobato spent nearly 17 years, her entire adult life, in prison for a murder she did not commit. Photo: Justin McAffee.
Lobato’s case has long garnered media attention from around the country. Finally, she has the chance to face the cameras and share her story of innocence. Photo: Justin McAffee.
Lobato reconnects with a loved one moments after she was freed from prison. In the coming weeks, Lobato will travel to California and Texas to reunite with her immediate family. Photo: Justin McAffee.
Lobato shares a warm embrace with her best friend. Photo: Justin McAffee.
Lobato on a trip to the local Verizon store to purchase a cell phone. Photo: Justin McAffee.