LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV)--Tuesday, Cedrick Simpson, 32, turned himself into Little Rock police. Simpson is charged with capital murder in the death of Harvest Foods assistant manager Kevin Bearden.
Twenty four hours after getting out of jail on a $100,000 bond, Simpson is proclaiming innocence.
He says, "I am going to fight and I am going to fight to win. I want people to know that I am not the person that police are portraying me to be."
May 14, 1997 was a violent night Angie Bearden wishes she could forget.
She says, "It was just numbness and shock."
Her husband, Kevin, was the assistant manager of a Little Rock Harvest Foods. A robber shot and killed him.
"I picked out caskets on my 3rd anniversary. I picked out Kevin's casket," she recalls.
Bearden was a family man. Their son was just three-years-old.
Days, months and years passed. There were no leads and no arrests. Bearden began preparing herself that the case may never be solved.
She says, "To know that the person that did it has not faced justice that is a hard pill to swallow."
Then came unexpected break. Watching the news Tuesday, she learned about an arrest. It was a man she'd never heard of, but police had.
Lt. Terry Hastings with LRPD explains, "We never give up on a homicide."
Police say Simpson has been on their radar since the beginning. According to the police affidavit, he contacted detectives a year after the murder saying he knew the people responsible. It goes on to say a few weeks later he confessed to driving the getaway car.
At the time, the 19-year-old was serving time in jail for forgery.
"If I confessed to driving the car, then why wouldn't you not think many many years ago they would have come and arrested me for that? Why would it take almost 14, 15 years for them to arrest me for that? But I didn't say that."
The affidavit mentions no new information since 1998. Lt. Hastings says they recently developed more proof, but he won't say what.
Hastings says, "If you hang everything you have on one confession the person may get in court and say well hey I lied and then you are back to square one."
Simpson adds, "Maybe police are so pressured to make a suspect that they are willing to implicate anyone."
Simpson owns his own business and is in school studying criminal justice.
He says, "The victim's family which I have so much grief for and I am so sorry for their loss but I am not the one responsible for any part of this crime."
As for Bearden, she'll continue to wait for justice.
She explains, "He will have his day in court. If he is guilty he will be proven guilty and if he is innocent...I believe in our justice system."
Police also say Simpson knew things about the crime that no one else would know. When the case goes to trial, he says he will testify.
This Sunday would have been the Kevin Bearden's 41st birthday.