FORT WORTH, Texas — Christmas with family is a special time.
But for Walter Roy and his wife, it means so much more.
It’ll be his first Christmas as a free man in decades.
“It’s a blessing,” he said. “Everything I asked the Lord for, he provided.”
WFAA was there as Roy was released from the Tarrant County Jail four months ago.
At 45, he’d spend nearly half his life in prison for a shooting that police and prosecutors now agree he did not do.
His wife, Surnedra Drisdle, hadn’t put up a Christmas tree in years because her children are grown.
This year, she made sure to have one.
Roy's already opened some of his Christmas presents. He proudly showed off a new Baltimore Ravens jersey and hat.
The couple planned to spend Christmas Eve running errands and grocery shopping for a Christmas barbecue. They'll be spending Christmas with his mother, children, grandchildren and other relatives.
“He enjoys his family,” Drisdle said.
Roy and his fiancé got married a month after his release. He’s gotten a dog he named King, started a car detailing business and worked for a delivery service for the holidays.
His wife is still helping him adjust to life on the outside.
“I feel good having him here,” his wife said.
He’s learning modern technology, such as smart phones.
Even the quiet rhythm of life in the free world has taken some getting used to.
Prison was loud and noisy. On the outside, it's so quiet, he says.
But Roy’s right to remain free isn’t over.
He is currently out on bond and awaiting a ruling from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.
Tarrant County prosecutors have argued in court fillings that his due process rights were violated by false testimony presented during his trial.
As WFAA previously reported, a legal technicality could put him back in prison for life.
The court of appeals has already denied an appeal from Roy.
State law requires that whenever a defendant appeals, they must include all of the claims that can be raised.
Tarrant County prosecutors are now asking the court to conclude it has the authority to hear Roy’s appeal and grant him a new sentencing hearing.
“I just hope that these people do the right thing,” Roy said.
Will Roy spend next Christmas behind bars? Or with family?
The appeals court will soon answer that question.
“I believe God going to work it out,” he said. “The truth's prevailed so far, and I believe it will continue to prevail.”