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Paying for Your Father's Crime

Imprisoned for a murder he didn't commit, Adam not only found God behind bars, but trusted him for protection and vindication. Read Transcript


THEY HANDED ME A LIFE

SENTENCE.

NEVER GETTING OUT OF PRISON.

SHOCKED REVERBERATE THROUGH

ADAM RIOJAS, JUST

CONVICTED OF A MURDER HE DIDN'T

COMMIT.

I WENT FROM PARADISE TO HELL.

PRETTY TOUGH.

GROWING UP WITHOUT A DAD.

ABUSED LIKE CRAZY.

MY DRIVING FORCES, I WANT TO BE

BETTER, MY FATHER.

FOR ADAM THAT MEANT PURSUING

WEALTH.

BY MID 20S, A SUCCESSFUL REALTOR

IN HAWAII EARNING A THOUSAND

DOLLARS A DAY.

I THOUGHT I WAS

INDESTRUCTIBLE.

A WEEKEND TRIP NEAR HIS

HOMETOWN SAN DIEGO CHANGED HIS

LIFE.

IN 1989 SOMEBODY SHOWS UP,

WANTS TO BORROW THE CAR, COMES

BACK AROUND 4:00, SEE YOU, THANK

YOU.

ADAM THOUGHT NOTHING OF IT.

AFTER RETURNING TO HAWAII,

POLICE OFFICERS ARRESTED HIM.

CHARGED ME I AM BEING

FOR A MURDER IN LOS ANGELES

COUNTY.

I HAVE BEEN TO LOS ANGELES, WHAT

ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

ADAM WAS TOLD EYEWITNESS SAW

HIS CAR AND A MAN MATCHING HIS

DESCRIPTION.

ADAMS ATTORNEY BELIEVED THERE

WOULD BE NO PROBLEM PROVING HIS

INNOCENCE.

NOBODY PICKED YOU OUT OF LINE

UPS OR PICTURES I'LL GET YOU OUT

IN A WEEK.

ONE WEEK TURNED INTO A YEAR.

I FELT HOPELESS, ALONE,

BETRAYED BY OUR SYSTEM.

STRIPPED OF EVERYTHING.

THERE IS PEOPLE THAT GET

YOU.ES D, HEY, JESUS

YOU ARE LIKE ME, IN JAIL, YOU

ARE TELLING ME THAT, HE DOESN'T

LOVE ME.

WHEN ADAM ATTENDED A PRISON

CHURCH SERVICE, HE FOUND THE

HOPE HE LOST.

IF YOU ARE TIRED, ALONE AND

EMPTY, NO HOPE, YOU NEED JESUS.

THE MOMENT THAT I BELIEVED HE

WAS GOD, THAT HE WAS MY

REDEEMER, MY CREATOR, MY BEST

FRIEND, MY SAVIOR IS WHEN

EVERYTHING CHANGED.

I HAD THIS INCREDIBLE,

INCREDIBLE JOY I NEVER HAVE FELT

IN MY LIFE.

MEANWHILE PROSECUTORS HAD

WITNESSES PLACING ADAM AT THE

CRIME.

GO TO THE TRIAL, GET

CONVICTED, GO TO PRISON.

A LIFE SENTENCE

NEVER GETTING OUT OF PRISON.

FIRST THING THAT RESONATED IN MY

MIND WAS THIS.

I WALKED BY COMPLETE FAITH.

AGAIN I SAY REJOICE IN THE LORD,

THESSALONIANS, IN EVERYTHING

GIVE GOD THANKS.

THANK YOU GOD FOR THIS?

NEVER.

THANK YOU GOD FOR THIS?

NEVER.

WORST FIGHT OF MY ENTIRE LIFE IN

MY HEAD HAPPENING, WRESTLING AND

GOING BACK AND FORTH WITH GOD

AND SAYING OKAY, GOD.

I SURRENDER.

OKAY, GOD, IF THIS IS MY LIFE,

THEN IT IS YOURS.

IT IS ALMOST LIKE HE SPOKE TO ME

AND SAID I HAVE A PLAN FOR YOUR

LIFE.

WHAT COULD HE POSSIBLY HAVE FOR

ME IN JAIL?

ADAM MOVED TO MAXIMUM

SECURITY PRISON TO SERVE HIS

SENTENCE.

ABOUT A MONTH AFTER BEING

THERE THE CHAPLAIN APPROACHED ME

AND SAID GOD HAS A PLAN FOR YOUR

LIFE.

HE WANTS YOU TO BE THE INMATE

PASTOR, I AM GOING TO ORDAIN

YOU.

ADAM DEDICATED HIS LIFE

BEHIND BARS TO REACH OTHERS.

HE BELIEVED FOR HIS OWN MIRACLE.

I KNEW HE WAS GOING TO

RELEASE ME.

I KNEW HE WAS A JUST GOD AND HE

HAD A PLAN FOR MY LIFE WITHOUT A

DOUBT.

TWELVE YEARS INTO HIS

SENTENCE ADAM RECEIVES A CALL,

HIS FATHER IS IN A COMA AND

DYING.

BEFORE HE DIES.

HE WAKES UP AND SAYS I AM

GUILTY, MY SON SHOULD NOT BE IN

PRISON, I DID THE CRIME.

MY MOTHER HIRES A PRIVATE

INVESTIGATOR.

THE MAN WHO BORROWED ADAM'S

CAR PICKED UP HIS FATHER.

THE BOARD REVIEWED HIS FINDINGS

AND DECLARED ADAM NOT GUILTY.

AFTER SERVING THIRTEEN YEARS AND

EIGHT MONTHS BEHIND BARS, ADAM

WAS FINALLY A FREE MAN.

IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE FEELING.

SILL ONE THING ADAM NEEDED TO

DO.

I NEVER HAD ENOUGH TIME TO

PROCESS -- THAT MY FATHER HAD

COMMITTED THIS CRIME.

IT WASN'T UNTIL I WAS DOING AN

INTERVIEW, THE REPORTER SAYS,

HAVE YOU FORGIVEN YOUR FATHER?

MAN I LOST IT.

I AM DRIVING HOME THINKING WHOA.

I HAVE TO FORGIVE THIS MAN, HE

BETRAYED EVERYTHING THAT IS

CALLED A FATHER.

EVERYTHING THAT IS CALLED A MAN.

HUMAN.

HE HAS BETRAYED ALL OF THAT.

BOY, I WRESTLED THAT NIGHT

ALMOST LIKE WRESTLING WITH GOD.

I HAD TO FORGIVE HIM.

I DID.

ADAM IS A HUSBAND AND FATHER

NOW AND SERVES AS A PASTOR IN

HOMETOWN OF OCEAN SIDE,

CALIFORNIA.

HE ALLOWED THIS TRAGEDY THAT

WENT THROUGH TO DRAW ME CLOSE TO

HIM, TO TRUST HIM IN EVERYTHING

MY ENTIRE LIFE, MY ENTIRE BEING.

I SEE HE HAD A PLAN NOT TO HURT

ME, E PROSPER ME,

NOURISH ME.

WE JUST HAVE TO TRUST HIM, EVEN

WHEN IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE TO GET

THROUGH SOMETHING IT IS RIGHT

THEN WHEN GOD IS SAYING, I HAVE

YOU.

YOU ARE MINE.

EMBED THIS VIDEO

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