Ex-inmate Mark Schand reflecting on freedom

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Mark Schand was convicted of murder in a deadly Springfield shooting and spent 27 years in jail before being his conviction was overturned this past summer. On Wednesday, he told his story to local college students.

Schand was sentenced to life in prison for the shooting, which happened back in September of 1986.

Twnety-five year old Victoria Seymour was an innocent bystander to robbery motivated by drugs, when she was shot and killed at Central and Rifle Streets outside the old After Five Lounge.

Schand always maintained his innocence, and that he wasn't even at that club the night of that murder. Three years ago, Centurion Ministries found new evidence that cleared him, and he was released.

Schand says that he has been enjoying his freedom for the past few months.

“When I was in prison, I wasn't exactly honing my skills. I wasn't learning a craft, I was fighting to become a free man. I wasn't fighting to become a better inmate, learning skills in jail. I was fighting to get out of jail,” he said.

Schand said that the hardest part about being in prison was what he missed. He met each of his four grandchildren for the first time in the visitors’ room. Now, he's making up for lost time.

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