BUFFALO, NY - We're hearing for the first time from a man from Buffalo, since he filed a federal lawsuit against Buffalo Police and former Erie County top prosecutors.
They were the ones who put him behind bars for ten years, for a crime he didn't commit.
"It was frustrating, day-by-day, I gotta live being an innocent man in jail," said Josue Ortiz.
The story regarding Ortiz dates back to 2006, when he admitted to the 2004 killings of two men on Buffalo's west side. Ortiz, who's now 34-years-old, says back then he was a much different person -- uanble to understand English and schizophrenic.
"I got, a little break from reality, just put it like that, I don't remember a lot of stuff," Ortiz said.
Still, Ortiz was labeled a suspect in the double murder and was allowed to plead guilty. He was was sentenced to 25 years behind bars. This is what former district attorney Frank Sedita said two years ago about Ortiz's mental health: "he had been evaluated for a competency to go forward and the psychiatrist did agree that he was competent."
But, Ortiz's attorney has doubts about that.
"All they're asked, at that time and date, is the person understanding my conversation?" Wayne Felle, Ortiz's attorney said, "as to the exams and competency findings, we think they are are in error."
Ortiz ended up spending years behind bars.
Until several years ago, a federal investigation found that another man connected to a Buffalo gang was suspected of the murders. The real shooter has since pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
"In Mr. Ortiz's case, he's still allowed to stay in jail for two years, I think that's an unacceptable consequence," Felle said.
A judge allowed Ortiz's release, he spent ten years behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.
"That was a beautiful feeling, a relieved feeling, relieved that I got released," Ortiz said.
The lawsuit names Sedita and former district attorney Frank Clark, plus Buffalo Police. It claims police failed to investigate inconsistencies in the case like witness identifications and that prosecutors put forward a case they knew was wrong. The defendants in the lawsuit won't respond to the claims, citing the pending litigation.