HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - Monday marked the 10th day Johnathon Montgomery has been imprisoned since a Hampton judge dropped rape charges against him and declared his innocence.
Attorneys representing Montgomery are seeking a "Conditional Pardon" from Gov. Bob McDonnell. Montgomery has served more than four years in prison for a rape his accuser, Elizabeth Coast, admitted earlier this month was completely made up.
The pardon request has not been submitted yet, which signifies more time in prison for Montgomery as an innocent man.
Montgomery hopes he will be out by Thanksgiving on Thursday, but says he should definitely be out by the end of the year and no later than Jan. 15.
"It would mean a lot to me to be out by Thanksgiving," Montgomery told 10 On Your Side. "It would mean everything in the world to me."
Montgomery says he has learned a lot about patience in the past few years since being imprisoned in 2008.
"I have been a really patient person," Montgomery said. "It is an ongoing process and I know it's a slow process and I have to take that."
His father, Dave Montgomery who lives in Charlotte, says he has always believed in his son's innocence and has even filed court papers on his son's behalf.
"He is like a one man law firm," Montgomery said. "Dad has learned a lot about law... we all have. He also tells me to keep my head up, square up my shoulders and we will see this through."
Montgomery's father says he is frustrated by a slow-moving legal system.
"I want my son back... I want him home.. it was a single person who put him behind bars and when that one person said everything was lie and he's still in prison... that is the biggest frustration we have had through this whole process," Dave Montgomery said.
McDonnell said Montgomery's request for a pardon will be put on a very fast track.
"When I get it, I will act on it," McDonnell said. "We want to see what the pardon request says and what evidence is there that he is actually innocent."
McDonnell says the pardon request will include Coast's recantation, what led to it and the other evidence that led Hampton Circuit Judge Randolph West to find Montgomery guilty in 2008.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.