HAMPTON-- Johnathon Montgomery believes he has a lot to be thankful for on his first day of freedom.
Montgomery was released from prison Tuesday night after being wrongfully imprisoned for rape. Now he will get to spend Thanksgiving with his family for the first time in four years.
"I wasn't expecting Tuesday night at 8:15 to be hugging my mom," Montgomery said.
13news was in Jarrett when Montgomery was released from the Greensville Correctional Center.
His accuser recently admitted she lied about the attack and Governor McDonnell has given the young man a conditional pardon.
Montgomery spoke out today at the Hampton Public Defender's office.
He says he only slept for an hour and a half last night and has spent his time talking to friends and relatives.
Montgomery says he missed enjoying a slice of pizza with his mom during the four years he spent in prison.
"To be able to eat when you want, to be able to go out in public whenever you want to. All the small things that you don't know that you lost until you actually lose them," Montgomery said.
The 26-year-old believes his troubles with the court system began during his preliminary hearing on the charges he sexually assaulted a then 10-year-old girl.
His accuser, Elizabeth Coast, made the claim when she was 17, and now at 22 admits didn't happen.
Montgomery says he didn't have a seasoned attorney. "I think what failed me and my father at that point is not finding a correct attorney for this," Montgomery explained.
Montgomery says he and his father have been talking about writing a book and calling it "Innocence."