Wrongly convicted: The years since Marsh's release - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Wrongly convicted: The years since Marsh's release

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - It was a San Diego story that made national headlines just over nine years ago -- a wrongly convicted man finally freed into the arms of the woman who fought for his release.

Once Ken Marsh was free, the first few years of his life with his wife Brenda were full of joy. But the pair soon realized that the love they had for each other would not stand the test of time.

On August 10, 2004, Ken was released after wrongfully serving 21 years in prison in connection with the death of Brenda's 3-year-old son Phillip.

"It was almost like old friends that you haven't seen for years but you pick up right where you left off," Brenda said.

Two months later, the couple tied the knot in Fallbrook and moved to Colorado to try to erase some of the bad memories that they had in San Diego. But after a few years, the couple started having some relationship issues, prompting Brenda to return to San Diego.

"I told Ken I needed a break, and that this was something I thought we needed to do for our marriage, for it either to work or for it not to work," she said.

Unfortunately, even after going through the ordeal of Ken's incarceration, subsequent release and a marriage, they could not survive and divorced in 2011, with the decree ironically finalized on the 28th anniversary of the toddler's death.

"I hope he's happy. He's a kind man. He has a good heart. I miss him, I miss what we had," Brenda said.

"Instead of growing together we grew apart," "I will never take away from anything she did to secure my freedom," Ken Marsh told CBS News 8.

Speaking from his Durango, Colo. residence, the 59-year-old Marsh says even though the marriage didn't work out, it doesn't diminish what his ex-wife did for him from the beginning of the tragedy that took the child's life to the day he left prison walls. But he says he just couldn't hang in there for several reasons.

"Brenda was the last piece of prison that I held onto. Whenever we separated and divorced and all that, that's when I felt free. There was a love so strong you can't imagine, but that love deteriorated because of our time and distance apart because of what happened to me.

"Had this not happened to me, Brenda and I would have been married still. What happened to me was very, very unfortunate. What happened to her was even more unfortunate, but we both lost in the long run," Ken Marsh said.

Ken Marsh says he's coming to San Diego in the next few weeks to begin writing a book about his life behind prison walls and his eventual freedom.

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