It’ was a Christmas gift for Judy Henderson — the woman from Springfield, Missouri, who spent 35 years in jail for a murder she did not commit — as she was released Wednesday. State Governor Eric Greitens commuted her sentence to time served.

Henderson, 68, was convicted of murder in 1982. She was sentenced to life in prison without any possibility of parole for 50 years as she played an important role in a robbery which led to the killing of Springfield jeweler Harry Klein.

Henderson, during her life in prison, obtained her General Education Development (GED). She also earned more than 100 hours of college credit. She received a number of certifications and completed training as a paralegal, fitness instructor, hairdresser, and a dog trainer.

Henderson, who spent more than three decades behind the bars, became a leader in various programs that help jail inmates to connect with their families. Recently, she donated $6,000 to a local women’s shelter. The amount was raised by jail inmates.

Henderson was barely 32 years old in 1981 when she helped her boyfriend, Greg Cruzen, in a robbery. She did exactly what Cruzen asked her to do.

According to a report in the local publication Riverfront Times, Henderson, as directed by Cruzen, met Klein and convinced him to the outskirts of town. Cruzen met the two there and asked Klein to give away all the valuables. When Klein refused, Cruzen shot Klein thrice and killed him.

Henderson was clueless that Cruzen would bring a gun and do such a thing. She was also injured as one of the gunshots hit her abdomen. Cruzen was saved from being convicted as he paid the witnesses to lie that she acted alone.

Henderson had been seeking clemency from the Governor's office for decades but her pleas were rejected every time

According to a report in the Inside Edition, governor Greitens said, “Commuting Judy Henderson’s sentence to time served — more than 35 years — is the right thing to do.”

Talking to the News-Leader, a local publication, Henderson said, “It is just overwhelming. If it wasn’t for the support of my family and friends who have hung in there for all of these almost 36 years, I don’t know if I could have done it.”

Greitens showed up in person at the Chillicothe Correctional Center  Wednesday to tell Henderson about the release.

“I instantly started crying and I fell to my knees. I was so honored and humbled that someone of that stature would take the time to come here,” said Henderson.

According to a report in the Riverfront Times, former Greene County prosecutor Thomas Mountjoy, who originally tried Henderson and her boyfriend, said, “I handled thousands of criminal cases during my time as a prosecutor. Judy’s case is the first time I have supported clemency for someone I prosecuted.”

State Representative Tracy McCreery thanked the governor for his decision to commute Henderson's sentence.