After sitting in jail for five years awaiting his trial, a Bronx man was cleared of all of the charges against him on Tuesday. Michael Ikoli, 22, had been behind bars at Rikers Island since 2004, when he was accused of being involved in the shooting outside a skating rink.

Ikoli was carrying an unloaded gun at the time of the crime, but claimed his friend Christopher Clinton — who just pleaded guilty to the shooting and is serving a six-sentence — was the one who pulled the trigger, hitting two people and killing a 21-year-old. "There's an awful lot to not like about what he did, but there was nothing to indicate that [Ikoli] wanted to kill or seriously injure someone," said attorney Martin Goldberg. "And there is no excuse for why it should take five years for anyone to get a trial"

The Daily News contends that the long delay was caused by an "experimental merger" of criminal and Supreme courts in the Bronx, which has lead to a 42 percent drop in the number of felony trials in the five years since the policy was implemented. Ikoli — who earned his GED while in prison and put on a custom-made sweatshirt reading "NOT GUILTY" after the verdict was delivered — told the tabloid that during his time in jail he missed the "little things," like "[b]eing outside, talking on the phone whenever I want to," he said. "I grew up in here. I lost my whole teenage and childhood for something I didn't do."