James Vincent Sullivan, 77, was convicted of murder in the case, and is serving life without the possibility of parole at Macon State Prison.
The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Harwood’s release from prison to Channel 2 Action News, and said prosecutors had notified Lita Sullivan’s family.
The headline-grabbing Sullivan murder case was one of the most highly publicized of its time. But the investigation stalled for nearly 12 years, until a tip led investigators to Harwood.
James Sullivan was indicted in 1998, shortly after Harwood’s arrest.
Prosecutors say Sullivan paid Harwood $25,000 for the murder, because he feared losing money and property in a bitter divorce — including a $4 million Palm Beach mansion. Harwood shot Lita McClinton Sullivan just inside her front door, after ringing the bell with a dozen roses in his hand.
The murder happened the same day a hearing was scheduled to discuss property distribution in the Sullivans’ divorce.