GREENSBORO, NC -- In 1994 Lamonte Armstrong was on the way to Guilford Technical Community College to look into becoming a substance abuse counselor. That same day he was arrested for first-degree murder.
Only July 12, 1988 Ernestine Compton, a professor at North Carolina A&T was murdered in her home. Six years later Armstrong was convicted for that crime.
"I’m innocent. God knows I’m innocent," Armstrong said. "The people that, the prosecutor, that put me away, they know I’m innocent. But they also know that I know that they know."
He spent more than 17 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit.
Armstrong used those years to help other prisoners. He taught the GED program, worked in the recreation department and even helped illiterate inmates read and write letters.
Helping just came naturally to the former teacher and coach.
"It seemed to have work for me well years before, the years in prison so why not still do it today?" he said.
He hasn't stopped. He works for TASC in Durham, an organization that helps former prisoners navigate substance abuse and the criminal justice system. TASC in Durham, an organization that helps former prisoners navigate substance abuse and the criminal justice system.
"I tell people sometimes and they fall out laughing I say, 'Man, is that not a flip of events? I go from fighting the criminal justice system to being a part of.'"
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