"In a sense he was married to Monsoor," Earley said Tuesday after the verdict. "Monsoor was the only guy who could clear him."
Darwiche testified at both his trials.
Earley believes one difference may have been new evidence at the second trial, Lawson's gun, which had been found by a recreational diver.
Earley said tests showed the gun had been fired twice--as Darwiche claimed--and not five times, as some of the witnesses had said. Also, the gun was found exactly where Darwiche had said Monsoor threw it. Earley believed that gave his client credibility with the jury.
Judge McBride said Tuesday that he could find no fault with the jury's verdict.
"It was a very difficult case for prosecutors; it happened so long ago that the memories of some of their witnesses were faulty," the judge said. "But also, Darwiche was a very personable young man. I can see why the jury might have believed him."
One person convinced of his innocence is his wife, Tammie Darwiche, who married him three years ago while he was a Folsom inmate. She had met him when she went with a friend to visit another inmate.
"I was scared to death; my parents were against" the marriage, she said. "Now I'm glad I did it. He is a very good man."
Tammie Darwiche was waiting for her husband when he was freed from Orange County Jail. As her husband came down the jail stairs, clad in slacks and sport coat, she became anxious, began to cry and rushed toward him.
"Relax, this is great," he exclaimed before hugging her.
Tammie Darwiche said earlier that her husband told her the first thing he wanted to do upon his release is go to the ocean and walk on the beach.
Earley said he has received more than a dozen letters from guards and other officials at Folsom on Darwiche's behalf.
Prosecutor Conley urges caution for anyone who might be critical of the second jury for the acquittal.
"The facts before that jury may have been different from the first case," Conley said.
Earley said Darwiche still has many supporters at the meat-packing plant where he worked, and should be able to gain employment.
Earley said he met with most of the jurors after the verdict was read, and they invited Darwiche and Earley to join them for lunch on Thursday. Earley said he accepted on behalf of his client.