NORFOLK, Va. - The former Chesapeake basketball coach pardoned from prison by former Governor Ralph Northam this week was welcomed home by a crowd of supporters during a basketball tournament at the Kroc Center in Norfolk.
"It's beautiful. It's wonderful. Being around so many people that love me and got care for me," Brian Faulcon said.
Faulcon, a former junior varsity basketball coach, spent nearly a decade trying to prove he is not the gunman who robbed a pizza delivery woman in Chesapeake in 2012.
News 3’s exclusive reporting revealed DNA evidence did not connect Fauclon to the crime. Following our investigation, state leaders urged Gov. Ralph Northam to look deeper into Faulcon’s case.
With just days left in office, Northam set him free from prison on a conditional pardon, citing evidence pointing to Faulcon’s innocence.
News 3 Anchor Jessica Larché broke the story about concerns over Faulcon's 2018 conviction and imprisonment last year. She was there Wednesday to capture the moments of his release from prison.
On Saturday, Faulcon got a warm welcome at the Kroc Center. Local leaders and activists were there to celebrate Faulcon's release at a basketball tournament put on by the Seven Cities Vets.
The crowd was filled with Faulcon supporters who were among the 4,000 that signed the petition urging Northam for his release following our investigation.
Faulcon's friend and former co-defendant, Branden Smith, was also there to welcome him back to the court as a free man.
"We're going to let him work his way back. Get his legs back under him, but we're going to get him back out there soon. Right back coaching. Right back training. Same thing. This is his home away from home right here on the court. So we're gonna keep him in there," Smith said.
Faulcon tells News 3 he is focusing his efforts on clearing his name through exoneration or an absolute pardon during Governor Youngkin's administration.
He tells us that being back on the court and being welcomed back home is a beautiful feeling.
"It's just good to be back in this atmosphere. I'm enjoying it and taking it all in. Thank you for everything. Thank you for all the love. All the support. It's wonderful. It's like a surreal moment right now," Faulcon said.
Not only did the community help welcome him home with a basketball tournament, but local business owners also committed resources to help Faulcon get his car detailing business up and running after it was dismantled in 2012 when he was arrested.
"By everyone coming out here today, we say not only did we help get him to this point [by submitting petitions to Governor Northam], we're also supporting him after he’s out," said Brandon Randleman, a local activist that helped lead the charge to receive the 4,300 signatures on the petition.