WNBA star Maya Moore has married Jonathan Irons – the man whose freedom free from prison she helped secure following his wrongful conviction for assault and burglary.
Irons regained his freedom in July after serving 23 years in prison, his conviction having been overturned in March.
He was sixteen years old when he was tried and convicted as an adult by an all-white jury for the burglary and shooting at the home of 38-year-old Stanley Stotler.
Irons, 40, maintained his innocence while he was in prison, saying he was wrongly identified during the lineup.
Moore had paused her WNBA career in 2019 to focus on getting him free.
“We got married a couple of months ago and we’re excited to continue this new chapter of life together,” Moore, 31, told Good Morning America.
Moore, 31, said that the romantic feelings progressed gradually over time, since they first met through a prison ministry program when she was 18 years old.
“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,” she said.
Moore was a first-round draft pick for the Minnesota Lynx in 2011, helping them win four championships and being named MVP in the 2014 season.
The 31-year-old, one of the best players in WNBA history, also has two Olympic and two World Championship gold medals.
But she gave up her career early in 2019 to help Irons who was serving a 50-year term.
After years of fighting, a Missouri judge overturned Irons’ conviction in March, saying there were problems with the way the case had been investigated and tried — including a fingerprint report that would’ve proved Irons’ innocence, not being turned over to his defense team.
The presiding Judge Daniel Green called the case “very weak and circumstantial at best”.
Asked whether she would go back to her playing career, Moore said: “I’m hoping sometime in the spring we’ll be able to have a next step moving forward.
“Right now I am trying to really just breathe from this long, long battle and enjoy and rest.
“There’s a lot of unknowns for a lot of us right now so I’m still in that camp.”