CONCOURSE, The Bronx — Pedro Hernandez, an honors student who's been jailed at Rikers on attempted murder charges since last year, was released on bail Thursday evening.
Hernandez was at risk of losing a full-ride scholarship to college if he stayed in Rikers, but he could not afford his bail. The Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, a justice organization headed by Kerry Kennedy, stepped in to help.
"I want to thank God first and I want to thank the nation for all the support it gave me," Hernandez said as he walked out. "I want to thank my family."
The victim in Hernandez's case has said that Hernandez is not the shooter, but the teen remained stuck behind bars. He was offered a plea deal, but chose not to accept it. Hernandez wants to go to trial and prove his innocence.
His bail was set at $250,000, a sum his family could not afford. On Wednesday, a judge reduced the bail to $105,000, which the RFK Human Rights organization paid.
"I was happy," Hernandez, 17, told PIX11 after he learned the news. "I started jumping around."
Hernandez completed high school with honors while incarcerated.