I9: Arizona man wrongly held in Linn County jail for crime he didn't commit

Published: Nov. 1, 2017 at 6:31 PM CDT
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Joseph McBride spent his first morning Wednesday outside of a jail cell since police first made a visit to his home in Phoenix, Arizona.

"It was August 24th," said McBride. ""There was no knock, just a truck pulled up on the side of the building"

McBride was being charged with robbery in the first degree for a crime that happened more than 1,500 miles away at an apartment complex in Cedar Rapids, Iowa around New Year's Day.

"I had no clothes. I had boxers and working gloves on," said McBride. "I was nervous, you know, I didn't know what was going on or what was going to happen."

Over the coming weeks McBride says he was transferred by a private prisoner transportation firm to different jails across Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and Missouri until finally on September 19th he was booked into the Linn County Jail.

McBride had evidence he was not in Iowa at the time of the robbery which includes a time stamped selfie. But despite the evidence McBride would sit behind bars until Halloween night. This even though an email obtained by I9, dated October 30th, shows the Linn County Attorney's office agreed "Joseph's story checked out" and that the case should be dismissed.

"That's actually heartbreaking," said McBride.

McBride credits his faith in God along with the help of outside lobbying efforts from friends and family with getting him out of jail. McBride's attorney tells I9 the only piece of evidence that linked him to the robbery was a witness said he matched the description of a facebook photo adding investigators with the Cedar Rapids Police Department never spoke to his client during their investigation.

For several days I9 has been reaching out to the the County Attorney's Office looking for comment but we are yet to hear back. A spokesperson for the Cedar Rapids police department says they can't comment on proceedings after an arrest.