Victim helps free man who shot her in the face

Posted at 2:55 PM, Nov 15, 2016

(WFLA) After decades behind bars, Ian Manuel never gave up fighting for his freedom. As of Monday, he is a free man trying to figure out what is next.

Manuel was just 13 when he shot Debbie Baigrie, a mother, in the face in downtown Tampa, Florida

Manuel agreed to a plea deal with the hope that he would only serve a few years behind bars. However, the judge sentenced him to life.

In 2010 the Supreme Court threw out life sentences for juveniles, and Debbie Baigrie began fighting for Manuel's release.

"It's the fact that he survived against all the odds and solitary confinement for over 20 years. He educated himself; he came through this and he came through it as a nice guy, not hardened," Baigrie says.

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