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Sentenced to Life As a Teen, D.C. Inmate Championed by Kim Kardashian Released After More Than 20 Years in Prison

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Momolu Stewart is now a free man.

Stewart, who spent more than 20 years in prison for a murder he committed at age 16, was released from the D.C. Central Detention Facility on Monday.

In 1999, Stewart, along with another man, Kareem McCraney, was convicted of shooting and killing 23-year-old Mark Rosebure in what prosecutors alleged was a robbery.

McCraney was released from prison in 2018. Both of their releases came about after a petition was filed under the Incarceration Reduction Amendment Act, a 2016 D.C. law which offered people who had committed serious crimes as juveniles, and who have served at least 15 years in prison, a chance to have their sentences reduced. (McCraney’s release was the first authorized after the law’s enaction, per The Washington Post.)

Supreme Court Judge Robert Salerno announced on Friday that Stewart’s sentence was suspended. He will, however, remain on probation for a period of five years.

Stewart, now 39, told Oxygen the first thing he wants to do is spend time with his family. “Just appreciate the things that was taken away from me when I was such a young man,” Stewart said. “You know, just smell the trees, just live life, and honor life.”

While he was in prison, Stewart took college-level courses through the Georgetown Prison Scholars Program and earned his GED, according to local news station Fox 5 DC. The Post adds that he has also taken “1,400 hours of educational programs, including for behavior modification, anger management and African studies,” and worked with youth programs as a mentor.

Stewart met Kim Kardashian West in July when she visited the D.C. prison while working on a forthcoming documentary Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project. She was so moved by his story that she wrote a letter to the judge requesting his release.

Stewart’s attorney, Betsy Henthorne, told Fox 5 that Kardashian West’s letter was the 40th letter of support they had received on his behalf. Henthorne did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment.

Stewart told Oxygen he was honored to have Kardashian West’s support, and that he’s grateful for a second chance. His case is expected to be featured in her upcoming documentary.

“She has the ability to believe in others when the conventional aspect of things would be to shun them,” Stewart said, according to Oxygen. “So now I’ve been resurrected. I’m back and I’m better.”

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Write to Josiah Bates at josiah.bates@time.com