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Wrongfully Jailed Bronx Woman Who Wrote To OBAMA And OPRAH To Help Set Her Free Now Wants Payback From The City For YEARS In Rikers

Malisha Blyden spent seven years in prison on an attempted murder conviction before it was dismissed on March 11.

She was behind bars and baffled.

Convicted by a Bronx jury in a brutal 2005 home-invasion shooting, Malisha Blyden sat inside a Rikers Island cell with a 40-year prison term stamped on her future.

But the inmate was innocent: Blyden never laid eyes on the man she was accused of setting up to be attacked with gunshots to his chest and stomach.

Her bad fortune was too much to process.

“It took me a while to realize they just convicted me on an attempted murder charge that I had nothing to do with,” Blyden said.

In her darkest hour, a fellow inmate provided Blyden’s first flash of hope in what became a frustrating — and finally successful — fight for freedom.

The prisoner knew Blyden was innocent because her Harlem neighbors were the ones responsible for the robbery.

The fleeing robbers, a mix of men and women, stuffed the bleeding George Peseo’s belongings into his green Ford Expedition and headed home in the stolen ride on Sept. 5, 2005.

Malisha Blyden, of the Bronx, served 7 years in prison before her conviction was overturned. Photographed Friday, March 21, 2014 at her attorney's lower Manhattan office.Malisha Blyden spent years fighting for her freedom after a wrongful conviction.

“She was there when they came back from the robbery, in front of the building,” said Blyden, referring to the culprits’ home in the Polo Grounds Houses. “They must have been talking about it.”

The information failed to sway a judge at a 2008 hearing. But future breaks in the case produced her exoneration after nearly seven painful years behind bars.

Freed in January, her case was formally dismissed on March 11.

“I broke down, but I never lost hope,” she said.

Attorneys for Blyden are filing a notice of claim against the city on Monday, charging false arrest, wrongful conviction, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and other civil charges.

Her lawyers did not request a dollar amount in the papers, often the first step in filing a lawsuit. A city Law Department spokesman said they will review the documents “when and if we are served.”

The whole thing, the lawyers claim, began when police pursued a shockingly bad lead.

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiBlyden has goals of a job in fashion or business, but wonders if they can still be a reality.

Cops stopped Blyden and her friend Latisha Johnson on an uptown No. 4 train for playing loud music nearly a decade ago.

The friend was wanted for questioning in Peseo’s shooting after police — searching for a young female suspect — learned a call was made from the victim’s phone to Johnson’s father.

Cops theorized the call came from one of the female perps using Peseo’s stolen phone — when it was really a single-digit misdial done by the victim himself.

After 22 grueling hours of police interrogation, Johnson confessed and implicated Blyden. Cops said witnesses identified the two suspects as prostitutes known as “Lace” and “Jackie” who ran with the male defendants.

It was total fiction. Johnson’s case was also dismissed this month.

The women were found guilty in 2007 with the help of lying or befuddled witnesses.

Blyden spent her days in prison penning so many pleas for help that she lost track of the recipients. She even petitioned President Obama and Oprah Winfrey — to no avail.

Malisha Blyden sought help from Oprah and President Obama in her fight vs. wrongful conviction.

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, before the president signed a memorandum creating a task force to respond to campus rapes during an event for the Council on Women and Girls. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Malisha Blyden sought help from Oprah and President Obama in her fight  against her wrongful conviction.

Appellate attorneys eventually uncovered the truth through interviews with witnesses ignored by investigators and confessions obtained from the actual perps.

“As a result of their screwup, the real perpetrators avoided prosecution and now the statute of limitations has run out,” said lawyer Earl Ward, who represents Blyden with David Lebowitz and Julia Kuan.

Authorities wrongly “focused in on two individuals and they shaped the facts,” Ward added.

Blyden said the ordeal set her life back considerably. She’s struggling to find a job and spent a month in a shelter after her release before moving in with a friend.

She still wonders about the chunk of life she lost, and whether her goals of a job in fashion or business would now be reality.

“I feel like the time they took from me, there's no amount of money that can replace that,” Blyden said. “I could have been doing so much with my life right about now. It’s just not fair.”

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Comment by Dexter on March 30, 2014 at 7:02pm
Well be thankful that you were freed. Hopefully your lawyer can get you a nice settlement & you figure out what to do with your life from here on. Recently a man was released from prison after serving 30yrs for a crime he didn't commit & another released last week after serving 50yrs
Comment by Derrwin G. Williams on March 30, 2014 at 6:41pm

You shall overcome just like so many who have and who will.. Black Power!

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