THE WOODLANDS, Texas - For the first time since returning home, Woodlands father Larry Davis is talking exclusively to KHOU 11 News about his more than a year in a Dominican Republic prison and the hell he went through to clear his name.
It's the little things that mean the world to this dad.
"You got so much emotion, it's hard to control,” Davis said.
He spent 15 months behind bars for a crime he didn't commit.
"In the beginning, I just kept thinking this is crazy, he will be home soon, they know the facts,” his wife, Stacy Davis, told KHOU 11 News in January.
Larry Davis leased out his supply boat in the Caribbean when his mom got cancer. However, when he flew down to the Dominican Republic for what he thought was a routine inspection, local authorities arrested him for the almost 1,000 kilograms of cocaine found on board.
"There were rats, dead rats inside of our bathing water, and when we were bathing, we were getting contaminated,” said Larry Davis, describing prison.
He developed boils on his skin. Then, there was a cholera outbreak and a time inmates beat him up.
"I started screaming, ‘Agente, agente, agente...’ that's agent in Spanish," Larry Davis said.
He quickly learned it was a system built on bribes and will never forget the offers from jail guards.
"We can let you into a better cell for something, for this (signaling money)," he said.
The trial delayed three times, but support from back home always lifted him up.
"One time they called me with 10 members of our church, and they'd pray for me," Larry Davis said.
Teammates from a soccer league back home even flew to visit him in prison, many doing anything they could to get someone's attention.
"Writing letters from everybody to the President of the Dominican Republic to the Ambassador of the United States,” said Nathan Beedle, Davis’ friend who spoke to KHOU 11 News when Larry Davis returned.
Finally, after mounting pressure from U.S. politicians, a verdict came.
"The translator said, 'No, it's good news, it's good news, it's not bad news,' because I was crying. I couldn't control myself,” Larry Davis said.
"Not only did the judges acquit Larry, but they chastised the prosecution,” said Sean Buckley, his attorney who spoke to KHOU 11 News at Bush Airport.
Larry Davis walked out of jail a free man. His family and friends flooded the airport, even those soccer teammates showed up to welcome him back.
"I thank God, thank God that I live in the United States of America," Larry Davis said at the airport when he returned.
Back home in The Woodlands, it's time with his family he treasures.
"I'm a hugger now. I'm a weeper. I'm a lot more emotional,” Larry Davis said.
A lot happened while Lary Davis was away. His mom died from leukemia before he could say goodbye.
"I'm so fortunate to have such an unbelievably awesome support group,” he said.
Too many people to name that got him home, a place now he doesn't take for granted.
"Maybe this experience and what we're doing will help business people to be much more cautious, because these other countries are not like the United States of America," Larry Davis said.
Larry Davis is looking forward to spending the summer with his wife and kids. He says prison was so loud, being back home is quiet and comforting.
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