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Ex-death row inmate enjoys first night of freedom

AP Exclusive: Ex-death row inmate sees iPhone, hangs with celebrities on first night free By The Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) ' Most inmates count down the weeks or months to freedom.

For death row inmate Damien Echols, it came almost out of the blue when his long fight for exoneration in the murders of three Arkansas Cub Scouts produced a whirlwind deal.

Echols and two other men, known as the West Memphis Three, pleaded guilty Friday to lesser murder charges in exchange for time served.

Now, he's learning to live outside prison for the first time in 18 years. He said Saturday he spent much of the night before learning to use an iPhone. He also celebrated with supporters, including Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines.

While Echols is free, supporters say they'll continue to look for the boys' killers and try to clear his name.

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