Rickey Dale Newman, a former Arkansas death-row inmate, walked free Wednesday.

The former transient was convicted and sentenced to death in June 2002 in the February 2001 slaying of Marie Cholette, 46, in a “hobo park” in the area of Lee Creek Park. In January 2014, the Arkansas Supreme Court overturned his conviction, finding that he was incompetent at the time of his trial, and ordered a new trial.

Newman’s attorney, Julie Brain of Philadelphia, earlier this month had asked the murder charge be dismissed based on Newman's mental incompetency at the time of this trial. A hearing had been requested for Wednesday.

Crawford County Sheriff Ron Brown said he received an order from the Crawford County Circuit Court at 2:22 p.m. Wednesday stating charges on Newman had been "nol-prossed." Newman had been detained at the Crawford County Detention Center for about the past 21 months, the sheriff noted.

“Mr. Newman has now been incarcerated for over 16 years for a murder that he did not commit,” Brain wrote in an Oct. 2 letter to Crawford County Circuit Court Judge Gary R. Cottrell. “It has been almost five years since the Arkansas Supreme Court found that he was mentally incompetent at the time when he was originally tried and when he gave incriminating statements to police — statements that were the only meaningful evidence against him.”

Brain wrote that her letter was in response to an Oct. 2 letter from appointed Prosecuting Attorney Ron Fields, the Press-Argus Courier reported Monday.