Wrongly jailed man relieved to be home for the holidays

Published: .
Updated: .

An Indianapolis father had a special reason to be happy to be home for the holidays. He came very close to spending Christmas Day in jail for something he didn't do.

In a case of mistaken identity, Keith Wilson had faced attempted murder and arson charges. But an Eyewitness News investigation got him out of jail before Christmas.

As four-year-old Giovanni opened gift after gift with her father on Christmas morning, she had no idea it was a Christmas with Dad that almost didn't happen.

"I actually didn't think I was going to be able to spend Christmas with her," Wilson said. "My thoughts were ‘what was she thinking'? I didn't know what she was thinking. She had no idea what was going on."

Wilson was behind bars facing a February trial. The victim, Stanley Williams, identified him by mistake as the Keith Wilson who set his house on fire last April.

After learning of warrants for his arrest and getting locked up seven months later, Wilson's mother turned to Eyewitness News for help, with hopes of having her son reunited with his daughter. 

"He has always been a part of her life and I didn't want him to miss out on that, not even a day, not just Christmas, just any day," Carmela Monie said.

Wilson spent about two weeks behind bars, unable to convince anyone he was innocent. But after an Eyewitness News investigation determined they had the wrong Keith Wilson, prosecutors asked a judge for his immediate release.

"Family is very important," Monie said. "Not just Christmas but all year 'round."