TAMPA (FOX 13) - A Bay Area man spent more than 20 months in jail for a crime he did not commit. Now he’s trying to put his life back together, especially his business which he had to abandon during that time.
Some say Anthony Jackomino has every right to be angry.
"Am I bitter? No. Am I glad this is over? Absolutely,” he told FOX 13’s Gloria Gomez.
Jackomino spent over 20 months in jail for a crime he did not commit.
"In this case, I absolutely didn't do it. I was innocent from the get-go," Jackomino said.
Anthony was stripped of his freedom in October of 2014. Detectives said burglars broke into the home of Polk County Commissioner George Lindsey. Lindsey wasn't home at the time, but the commissioner's son, Matthew walked in on the robbers.
Jackomino’s attorney, Adam Bantner said one of the men used the commissioner's own gun to threaten Matthew.
A sketch was made of the suspect, and when Matthew Lindsey was shown a photo lineup he, pointed the finger at Anthony Jackomino, although he later told prosecutors he wasn't completely sure.
"He looked at the photo pack, and there were a couple of people that may have sparked interest in him, and the officer, the detective said, ‘go with your first instinct,’ and so he picked me… So 20 and half months later, I'm still sitting in jail," Jackomino explained.
Jackomino, however, had proof he wasn’t at the commissioner’s home at the time of the burglary. His cell phone records, analyzed by experts, showed he was miles away, at a storage facility, at the time of the burglary. He was on the phone with a customer, and she backs up his alibi. Prosecutors even spoke to her.
"I was selling my merchandise, legally obtained, and I was selling it on eBay," Jackomino explained.
Yet, despite all of this exonerating evidence, the case was going to trial. Bantner couldn't believe it.
"It’s scary that law enforcement would go that far to get a conviction, just to close a case," he said.
Finally, days before picking a jury, the state dropped the charges and, just like that, Jackomino was free.
FOX 13’s Gloria Gomez: Would you consider this a second chance?
Anthony Jackomino: Second chance, new beginning; we could label it a million different ways. I'm just thankful that I'm out… That I could go the distance and do anything… So, second chance… I'll go with that.
Anthony has to return to court in August for a weapons charge. Once that’s behind him, he hopes to start up his business again, and rebuild his life.