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St. Pete woman free after prison sentence commuted | People

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St. Pete woman free after prison sentence commuted
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St. Pete woman free after prison sentence commuted

Riverview, Florida -- Monique Baker walked out of the Hillsborough Correction Institute a free woman on Friday evening after serving 20 years behind bars.

"I can't even begin to explain how I feel," Baker said shortly after walking out with her parents by her side.  "All I can say is thank God."

Baker, who is from St. Petersburg, was originally sentenced in 1990 to 90 years in prison for smuggling cocaine. But while in prison she had her sentenced reduced to 35-years and this week the Board of Executive Clemency voted unanimously to commute the remaining portion of her sentence.

During her clemency hearing, Baker was praised as a model inmate who even became a paralegal while in prison.

Baker, who turns 51 on Tuesday, was greeted by her parents and a host of journalists when she exited the prison.

When asked what she wanted to do now, Baker said take a bath and eat. She added anything but chicken and potatoes.

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