Big news for WNBA star Maya Moore! She is now married to Jonathan Irons, a wrongfully convicted man she helped to free him from prison while taking a leave from professional basketball.
Moore, 31, told Good Morning America on September 16, "We wanted to announce today that we are super excited to continue the work that we are doing together, but doing it as a married couple. We got married a couple months ago and are excited to continue this new chapter of life together.”
Irons proposed while he was in prison but wanted her to wait to say yes when he was a free man. He explained, "I wanted to marry her but at the same time protect her because being in a relationship with a man in prison, it's extremely difficult and painful. And I didn't want her to feel trapped and I wanted her to feel open and have the ability any time if this is too much for you, go and find somebody. Live your life. Because this is hard."
He continued, "When I got out we were in the hotel room we had some friends in the room, it was winding down and we were extremely tired, but we were still gassed up on excitement. It was just me and her in the room and I got down on my knees and I looked up at her and she kind of knew what was going on and I said, 'will you marry me,' she said, 'yes.'"
The WNBA champion explained they met during a prison ministry program more than 10 years ago.
"Over the last 13 years we have just developed a friendship and just entered into this huge battle to get him home and just over time it was pretty clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts and now we're sitting here today, starting a whole new chapter together.”
In 1998, Jonathan Irons was arrested at 16 and charged with a non-fatal shooting and robbing a white man’s home near St. Louis. He was tried as an adult, convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Irons always maintained he was misidentified and not even there. There was never any DNA or fingerprints of Irons at the scene.
After back and forth with the courts for years, his case was overturned in March. Nonetheless, the state of Missouri continued to fight Irons’ release with appeals. However, after endless fighting and Maya Moore bringing attention to the case, he was a free man as of July 1.
Watch the Good Morning America interview below:
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