Timothy Bunkley became a free man Friday night.
The longtime state prison inmate walked out of Polk Correctional Institution and re-entered society at 8:56 p.m., a day after Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet voted to commute his sentence.
He was met by his sister, Sandi Regan, and the address he left was Reagan's home in Venice. The Department of Corrections said he left with his clothing, a Bible and $100 to start life anew.
Bunkley, 54, of Sarasota, served nearly 25 years in prison for an armed burglary conviction. A judge in 1986 sentenced him to life because he had a pocket knife in his pants -- a weapon -- when he was arrested after trying to burglarize a Western Sizzlin' restaurant.
Since then, courts have ruled that a pocket knife is not a weapon.