Dale Helmig sits down with KRCG

A man who spent more than 15 years in prison on a tainted conviction said he just wants his old life back.

Dale Helmig was found guilty of killing his mother in 1996 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Last year, a judge overturned the conviction, citing the use of false evidence.

Almost a year later, the charges have been dropped.

KRCG sit down with Dale Helmig to hear what he had to say about his ordeal.

In 1993, authorities found Norma Helmig's body in the flood-swollen Osage River with a concrete block tied to it.

Investigators pointed the finger at her son, Dale,and three years later, a judge sent him to prison for the rest of his life.

"Right at first, when I went to prison, I was real angry. I was so angry that it was hard to talk on the phone. I pretty much screamed in the phone, Dale Helmig said. I then finally realized that this wasn't going to get me anywhere. So I settled down and came up with a plan, and stuck to it."

More than decade went by before Helmig was able to convince people of his claim of innocence.

Last year, a judge reviewing the case in Dekalb County decided prosecutors and law enforcement officers had withheld evidence and presented false testimony during Helmig's trial.

"They twisted the facts. They lied, flat out lied on the witness stand," Dale's Brother Richard Helmig said.

"Prosecutorial misconduct happens a lot. I TMve said it before, it would be nice if they we're held accountable for their actions. Right now, I just don't think they are. Dale Helmig said.

Just before Christmas, Helmig was finally released from prison after posting $5,000 bond.

Since then he has spent time with his family and looked for work.

"I got a hold of my children and went an ate dinner with them, and basically spent a lot of time with them. Then even though it was still pretty cold outside, me and my brother got out and did some crappie fishing, Dale Helmig said.

While no longer behind bars, Helmig was not a free man.

The state filed an appeal to reverse the judge's decision to let him out of prison. But the Missouri Court of Appeals sided with Helmig . The Supreme Court also ended up siding with Helmig.

So the case went back to Osage County and the prosecutor last week decided to dismiss the charges against Dale Helmig.

"It feels like happy days again. You know like everything just was lifted off of me, Dale Helmig said.

Prosecutor Amanda Grellner cautioned that there is no statute of limitations for murder.

So she could refile the charges, but that would require new evidence.

"I didn't do the crime. So I know that they can't come up with anything, unless it would be manufactured evidence like it was the first time, Dale Helmig said.

Helmig now wants simply to get his life back to the way things were before his mother was killed.

As to who killed his mother, Dale Helmig told us we might never learn the truth.

He hopes someone, some day, comes forward to confess.