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WILSON, N.C. (AP) -- The Wilson man convicted of a fatal shooting and claimed it was self-defense returned to his hometown to say goodbye to his late wife, a day after he'd gained his freedom from a Georgia jail.

John McNeil went to a funeral home Wednesday to bid farewell to Anita McNeil, who died of breast cancer on Feb. 2. She and NAACP leaders in Georgia and North Carolina waged a campaign for John McNeil's freedom after a judge ruled he was entitled to a new trial.

While saying he was grateful for his freedom, John McNeil said he was grieving his wife's death.

McNeil shot former contractor Brian Epp outside his suburban Atlanta home, telling police that Epp was belligerent and had threatened his son with a knife just before the shooting.

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