Floyd Bledsoe discusses his 16 years in prison and life as a free man

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LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Floyd Bledsoe does not look like a person who serves a 16-year prison sentence he did not deserve. He has a sparkle in his eye and an easy smile that he said he never lost because of the grace of God.

FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien sat down with Bledsoe for a one-on-one interview.

Bledsoe called the last 16 years "a step to the rest of my life." He doesn't look at it as a loss.

Bledsoe, 39, has a unique outlook on life after spending the last 16 years in prison, 10 of that in maximum security.

"While some things may break, it can always be built and used to further and change other things," Bledsoe said.

What broke, according to Bledsoe and his attorneys with the KU Project for Innocence, was the justice system.

In 1999, Camille Arfmann went missing after getting off the bus from school. Bledsoe's older brother, Tom, confessed several times to the murder even turning over the gun he used to shoot her four times and led police to her body.

But several days later, Tom changed his story, pinning the crime on Floyd. It was a shift with no basis in fact, said attorney Alice Craig, with investigators and the Jefferson County attorney ignoring the presumption of innocence.

"They decided that Floyd had done it in every aspect of the case. They then looked at with that lens," Craig said.

New DNA evidence in October of 2015 implicated Tom Bledsoe, and shortly thereafter he took his own life, leaving a suicide note which was later read in court.

"I killed Camille Arfmann on Nov. 5, 1999," part of the note read.

"I wanted the truth, I just didn't want it to end the way it did," Floyd Bledsoe said. When asked how he feels about the attorney who prosecuted him, Floyd didn't have many words, but he certainly did not react with anger. He simply laughed and said, "you know, that's a good question."

Bledsoe prefers to move on, beginning from the moment the shackles were taken off his legs, exactly 4 weeks and 4 days ago, trying to decide where he will live, how he will support himself, and what he will do as a free man.

"I've got friends who have traveled around the world and seen some things, and I hope to do that too," Bledsoe said.

FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien said the most amazing thing about him is that he really is not bitter. He's had dark moments, but his heart is full of forgiveness, he said, and that's because of his faith and some of the things he was able to do behind bars.