News 3 was there the moment Brian Faulcon became a free man on Wednesday morning.
We watched as he embraced his family for the first time in five years since he was convicted of robbing a pizza delivery woman in Chesapeake in 2012.
News 3’s exclusive reporting revealed DNA evidence did not connect him to the crime. Then, 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 problems with Faulcon’s conviction last year. She was there Wednesday as he was released in the Richmond area.
Faulcon shared a letter he wrote in anticipation of this day, saying, “First off, I would like to thank God. I give God the glory for this moment. Thank you, Jessica Larché. Without you, my story wouldn’t have been magnified to this height. I truly thank you from my heart and soul and believing in my innocence. I would like to thank Governor Northam for acknowledging my case amongst the thousands sent to his office.”
Related: Extended video: Investigation into Chesapeake man's robbery conviction & DNA evidence that's not his
His release came almost 10 years to the day that Faulcon was arrested for the 2012 robbery.
Jessica asked Faulcon what this release meant to him, and he said, “It’s big. It just goes to show that there are people that listen and saw my case and saw the injustice that has been done. So, it’s just a great feeling to be here free, outside of these gates.”
Faulcon’s fight isn't over, though, as he will soon be seeking exoneration.
Later Wednesday, Jessica spoke with Brian's mom, Cynthia Faulcon. When asked what it means to have her son back in her arms, Cynthia said, "It just means that God is still in the blessing business. I’m glad my son is back with all of us, all of his friends and all of his family. And I thank you guys for all the coverage that you’ve had for him to get us to this point."
She added that things don't always happen when we want them to, saying, "I kept praying that everything would work out and that things happen for a reason. It doesn’t always happen when we want things to happen. They happen in God’s time. And this was just his time. And I’m grateful for that."
News 3 reached out to the Chesapeake Police Chief about Faulcon’s pardon. He said he wishes him well. The Chesapeake Commonwealth’s Attorney has not responded.
You can watch Faulcon’s entire statement from outside of prison in the video player above.
Related: Chesapeake Police lawfully destroyed evidence a robbery convict says could have freed him