Wilson man could get out of Georgia jail

WILSON, N.C.

Anita McNeil has had her hopes dashed before, but Wednesday she ABC11 that she's cautiously optimistic that her husband will finally be released from a Georgia prison where he's spent the last 5-1/2 years.

John and Anita McNeill were building a new home in Georgia in 200 when John McNeil shot and killed Brian Epp, who was a contractor working on the house.

Despite an eyewitness who said Epp attacked McNeil with a knife and police testimony that McNeil acted in self-defense, he was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

But after years of legal wrangling, a Georgia judge granted McNeil's petition of habeas corpus, which means the judge believed he's being unlawfully imprisoned.

Barring an appeal by the Georgia attorney general, John McNeil could soon be a free man.

"While it is a big deal and while we are happy, these six years have taught us that you take one day at a time," said Anita.

Anita McNeil is also battling breast cancer right now. It's in advanced stages and it's spreading. So she's been fighting on two fronts.

Meantime, it's a waiting game for her husband's freedom. If Georgia's attorney general does not appeal, John McNeil could be home by Thanksgiving.

Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | See Click Fix
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook

Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.