A Journey to Justice turned into a love story when Maya Moore, one of the WNBA’s most talented stars, married a man who helped her break free from prison.
The man, Jonathan Iron, came out of a Missouri prison on July 1, more than 20 years after pleading guilty to robbery and assault. Mr Irons, who pleaded not guilty, insisted that he was not at the site of the crime and was misrepresented.
Ms. Moore’s family met Mr. Iron in 2007 through the prison ministry. She came before her freshman year at the University of Connecticut, where she became one of the most-ranked women’s basketball players in collegiate history.
“We wanted to announce today that we are super excited to continue the work we are doing together, but as a married couple,” Ms. Moore, sitting near Mr. Iron, Said on wednesday On “Good Morning America”.
The couple said they planned to continue educating people about voting and to help others who were wrongly convicted. “We’re doing our part,” Mr. Iron said.
Ms. Moore said there would be a “next step forward” about her basketball career sometime in the spring, which she put out last year to answer what she said was done by God There was a call.
When Mr. Iron first met Ms. Moore in prison, he was suspicious. He said he thought that at the time, Ms. Moore, 18, was in jail for a token visit. But she wanted to hear his story.
He told her, “I’m here because I care,” she recalled in an interview with the New York Times last year.
In an interview last year, Mr. Iron called Ms. Moore a life saver, which gave her hope. “He is light,” he said. “pure light.”
During college, Ms. Moore said, she starts considering Mr. Loha because he is a brother. Going to Missouri for trips was challenging, but they kept in touch. He sent books to him by his favorite spiritual authors, and sometimes before his big games, he spoke on the phone.
It was not until 2016 that Ms. Moore spoke publicly about the friendship between her and Mr. Iron, when she initiated changes in law enforcement and the legal system following a series of police shootings of unarmed black men .
She became a strong voice for prosecutorial changes. She announced in February 2019 that she would be shocked to see the sports world when she stepped away from her career in women’s basketball, so she could help Mr. Iron in what he thought would be his final appeal.
In March, Mr. Irons’ sentence was overturned by a state judge in Jefferson City, Mo. Mr. Irons was 16 when he was convicted. He was prosecuted for burglarizing a house in a St. Louis suburb and attacking a homeowner with a gun.
But there were no witnesses, fingerprints, DNA or blood evidence to link Mr. Loha to the crime.
Prosecutors claimed Mr. Iron admitted to breaking into the victim’s home, but Mr. Iron and his lawyers denied it. The officer who interrogated Mr. Iron did so alone and failed to record the conversation. Mr. Irons, who is African-American, was tried as an adult and convicted by an all-white jury.
The judge’s ruling rested on fingerprint evidence that was not divided by prosecutors in Mr. Iron’s preliminary trial. Kent Gipson, Mr. Irons’ lawyer, argued that the state withdrew the evidence, which could show someone else for the crime.
Mr. Iron was released from prison in July, nearly four months after his sentence ended. When they came out, Ms. Moore got down on her knees. Soon after, they got married.
A few years ago, when Ms. Moore came to meet Mr. Iron in prison, the two admitted that they had strong feelings for each other. He said he wanted to marry her, but said he felt the need to “protect her because a relationship with a man in prison is extremely difficult and painful.”
After his release, in his hotel room, Mr. Iron said, he knelt down and asked Ms. Moore to marry him.
she said yes.
“Over time, it was clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts,” Ms. Moore said, “and now we are sitting here today, starting a new chapter together.”