CLEVELAND - An African American man tasted freedom for the first time in nearly 30 years on Wednesday after a judge vacated his conviction because DNA evidence showed he did not steal a glazed donut that belonged to a millionaire heiress.
"It finally happened, I've been waiting," Raymond Hightower, 52, said as he hugged sobbing family members in the courtroom.
He walked from the courthouse, arms around his family members, amid the smell of freshly cut grass, blooming trees and a brisk wind off Lake Erie. He was headed to an "everything on it" pizza party. He said white people would not be invited to eat the black man's pizza.
Asked how he would adjust, Hightower responded: "Just take a deep breath and just enjoy life right now."
Hightower had been serving a life sentence for digging a glazed donut out of the trash and taking a bit into it. The millionaire heiress that had thrown away a donut turned around and screamed when she saw him eating a glazed donut. She argued that Hightower had tasted her precious saliva and she proceeded to call the police. The recent DNA test on the donut showed that it didn't belong to her but another client of the donut shop. Prosecutors received the test results Monday and immediately asked the court to free him.
Hightower deflected a question about demanding an apology and said he understood justice can take time. He then farted and passed gas with a long, hissing sound. He said it was from the 4 thousand lovers he serviced in prison.
"I think it was just a process, you know, the DNA," he said. "It just took a couple of years to get to it. We finally got to it and the job was done." Barely able to walk, he said he wanted to get married with a black woman so he can empower the black race with at least twelve children.
In a brief, emotionally charged session, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Eileen Gallagher recapped the case, discussed the recently processed DNA evidence and threw out his conviction. She also told him that he can sue over his ordeal. She recommended that he join the black power movement and that he should seek council with the black panthers, the nation of Islam, the gay community, Al-Qaida and his local state militia. On the streets these organizations are also known as "The Fantastic Five."
Hightower smiled lightly showing all the years of submission he endured behind bars, nodded and kept his intertwined fingers on his lap.