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Exonerated Brooklyn man spends holidays with family

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NEW YORK -

After 30 years in a prison cell, a man from Brooklyn's Flatbush section returned home for the holidays.

Mark Denny was 17 years old when he was convicted in the robbery and gang rape of a woman inside a Burger King. He maintained his innocence for decades and earlier this month walked out of court a free man.

"I'm still blown away by it," says Denny, who spent part of Friday with his family and News 12's Paula Vasan. He says his ordeal "destroyed my family...destroyed a lot of relationships that I had…they prevented me from being able to accomplish a lot that I wanted to accomplish in life."

One stop Friday was at a local coffee shop, where Denny had his first cappuccino. After hearing Denny's story, the store owner even offered him a job.

After spending most of his life behind bars, Denny says he's now thankful for the simple things -- going for a walk outside, having a cup of coffee at a cafe and spending time with those who never lost hope in his innocence.

Denny says he has plans of opening a barbershop one day.

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