Richard Raugust has been released from prison.
On Dec. 4, a judge released Raugust on his own recognizance pending a new trial, and he took another giant step in his years-long journey to clear his name.
“I knew this day would come. I just didn’t know when,” said his sister, Mary Webster, having traveled from her home in Oxnard, California, to greet her brother. “I’m so excited for him to start anew. I know he’s ready.”
“I just didn’t think it would take 18 years,” Raugust added.
Raugust, whose 1998 conviction for the murder of Joseph Tash was overturned on Nov. 16 by a district court judge, was released from prison following a bail hearing Dec. 4, and will live in an apartment in Missoula awaiting his day in court and the state’s appeal to the Montana Supreme Court.