FORT MYERS, Fla. - 29-year-old Harold McDaniel spent two years in jail. Wednesday night that period of his life ended with four simple words: "Pack it up, McDaniel."
He says. "I was like whatever you're joking... and i found out it was real when the officer said pack it up."
WINK news was there to witness the tearful reunion of McDaniel with his mother waiting just outside the jail. He's now a free man.
McDaniel was serving a ten year sentence for striking a man in his home twice with a machete. A judge overturned that decision after McDaniel's lawyer argued he was justifiably defending his home and was acting in self defense. The judge agreed and ordered him released citing Florida's new "Stand Your Ground" defense.
McDaniel says, "Two years of my life have been taken from me and the whole time i've been trying to plead with them. They're in the wrong, i'm in the right ,and I believe I should have never been prosecuted."
His mother, fighting back tears, says she holds a grudge against the system. When asked what the past two years have been like, she simply said "Hell... a lot of hell."
But for now, McDaniel is going to try and recoup his life - and enjoy what he's missed out on for two years.
"Oh, I don't think I'm gonna sleep. Probably just stay up all night talking to my family...call all my family."