Who is Jonathan Irons? WNBA star Maya Moore's husband was in prison for over 23 years
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: On July 1, 2020, decorated basketball legend Maya Moore Irons' efforts helped Jonathan Irons, wrongfully charged with burglary and assault and sentenced to 50 years in prison, to walk out of the Missouri penitentiary as a free man. Two-and-a-half years later, Maya and Jonathan are a happy couple parenting their son, Jonathan Jr, who was born in July 2022.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Maya, who had stepped away from basketball at the peak of her career in 2019 to lead a movement that helped free Jonathan, an innocent man who spent 23 and a half years in prison, officially announced her retirement from the sport on January 16. The couple's book, 'Love & Justice: A Story of Triumph on Two Different Courts' which was released on January 17, chronicles a tale of struggle, passion, and love.
Who is Jonathan Irons?
In 1998, at the age of 18 years, Jonathan Irons was wrongfully found guilty of burglary and violence. He was convicted of shooting and breaking into the house of Stanley Stotler in O'Fallon. At the time, Irons had protested repeatedly that he had been mistakenly identified and was not in the area at the time of the incident.
In March 2020, after Irons spent over 23 years in prison, Missouri Judge Daniel Green overturned his conviction. Green cited a number of issues with the case's investigation and trial procedures. He made a fingerprint report public that Irons' defense team had not offered up in court before. The print was discovered on the inside of the door and belonged to neither Irons nor Stotler. Green acknowledged that his defense team would have had "unassailable forensic proof" to support Irons' innocence if the print had been turned in. Judge Daniel Green declared in his ruling that all charges against Irons were dismissed because the prosecution's initial evidence was "extremely weak and, at best, circumstantial." Almost four months later as he walked out of prison on July 1, he was received by Moore, her family, and other supporters who cheered and hugged him.
Soon Moore and Jonathan's friendship blossomed into love and the two got married that same year. Two years later, they welcomed a baby son. On January 16, 2023, talking about their book with Good Morning America, Moore said, "Because our story happened over so many years -- reading it all together it was extremely overwhelming," adding, "In the journey and the fight you're trying to do it one day at a time. To read it all together made me appreciate and be more inspired by Jonathan's life and how God put this all together, how it wove together, it blows my mind."