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After sentencing overhaul ruling, Tennessee man now free

January 4, 2019
FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2017, file photo, Matthew Charles, who was released from prison after 21 years as a result of retroactive drug sentencing guideline changes, discusses his legal challenges at Nashville Public Radio in Nashville, Tenn. Charles will be one of the first prisoners to be released under a sweeping criminal justice reform law recently signed by President Donald Trump thanks to a federal judge's ruling on Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. (Julieta Martinelli/Nashville Public Radio via AP, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee man who was one of the first inmates to be released under a new federal sentencing reform law is officially a free man.

Matthew Charles received national attention in 2018 after being resentenced and ordered back to prison two years after a judge ruled his sentence was unfair.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger specifically cited the First Step Act as the reason she was reducing the sentence as time-served for the 52-year-old Charles.

Later that day, WPLN-FM reports Charles was released from Grayson County Detention Center in Leitchfield, Kentucky.

Charles had been detained there for the past seven months. He was originally sentenced to 35 years in prison in 1996 for selling crack cocaine.

President Donald Trump signed First Step into law last month.

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Information from: WPLN-FM, http://www.wpln.org/

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