"Mr. Davis served 32 years in prison for a rape and murder he didn't commit," Royal said. "Tamms is a difficult place to do time. He's hoping to rebuild his life, with the support of his family."
It wasn't immediately known if Davis' family was at the prison when he walked out. Davis' father was traveling to Tamms on Friday afternoon and couldn't be reached for comment.
Reitz said that while she didn't doubt the results of the DNA tests, she decided not to retry Davis because of the difficulty in taking a 32-year-old case to trial -- not because of those tests.
"After 30 years, witnesses are either deceased, missing or no longer credible to testify," said Rietz, who has been state's attorney in Champaign County since 2004. "Based on the age of the case and the current state of the evidence, we elected to dismiss."
She noted that Davis was twice convicted by juries. His first conviction was overturned because of a mistake made by a bailiff during jury deliberations.
Rietz said any further steps in the investigation of Briana's death will be up to police. Rantoul Police Chief Paul Farber did not return a call regarding the status of the investigation.
According to trial testimony, Davis -- who was 19 at the time -- was visiting his father in Rantoul. He spent the day the girl died drinking at the home where she was eventually found with the two brothers who lived there. At some point the brothers left, leaving Davis there alone.