BIRMINGHAM — Treveon Weaver spent two years in the Jefferson County Jail for a dozen heinous crimes he didn't commit, but the young Bessemer man says it was a blessing in disguise.

"Everything happens for a reason," said Weaver, who was released from the lockup earlier this month after being held on more than a half million bond while awaiting trial since his Aug. 9, 2017 arrest. "It was a blessing in disguise. God just sat me down."

Weaver was 19, a high school graduate of Gunn Christian Academy and a restaurant worker in the summer of 2017 when he was charged with three counts of second-degree assault, three counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of first -degree kidnapping, and one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree burglary and cruelty to animals.

The crimes for which Weaver was wrongly accused happened on July 22, 2017. The victims are a couple in their early 40s, and records portray a series of brutal crimes.

Charging documents state a male entered the couple's home armed with a gun. Two cell phones were stolen, two teeth were knocked out of the family's dog mouth and both the man and the woman assaulted.

The woman was raped and sodomized, court records state. Other details of their physical injuries weren't made available.

According to Weaver's attorney, Emory Anthony, Weaver was pegged as the suspect through one of his photos on Facebook. Apparently, the attorney said, Weaver bore a resemblance to the real attacker.

Weaver, now 21, said he was stunned when he was first arrested. "I was like, 'I don't know what y'all are talking about,'" he recalled. "I volunteered to give my DNA because I know I didn't do anything."

His mother agreed. Shuntay Gary told AL.com in 2017, "I know the character of my children and I know he didn't do this. He was doing everything he was supposed to do. He isn't perfect, but he wouldn't do those sickening things. I wouldn't be crying and trying to defend my son if I thought he did it."

According to court records, the assailant urinated on the victim. DNA samples were taken from the scene. Those samples were turned over to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences and returned to Bessemer police on April 19, 2018.

The results excluded Weaver's DNA from being found on the victim or at the scene of the crime, according to a motion filed by Weaver's attorney Anthony, who had repeatedly requested the results. He received them, he said, days before Weaver's April 1 trial was to begin.

"The untimely giving of the DNA results some 11 months later is prejudicial to the defendant in this case and has violated his constitutional right to timely have evidence showing he is not guilty," Anthony wrote.

On Aug. 19, the Bessemer Cutoff Jefferson County District Attorney's Office formally requested all charges against Weaver be dismissed. "Based on the findings presented in the DFS report and further review of the state's evidence ... it is in the best interest of justice for these cases to be dismissed," wrote Assistant District Attorney Hollye Farmer.

"When the DNA results didn't match, the only just thing to do for this young man was to have him released immediately with the charges dismissed," said Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington. "My office will never knowingly take part in sending an innocent man to prison. That's not justice."

Bessemer police on Tuesday released this statement concerning the case. "The Bessemer Police Department was shocked by the news, considering the victim's level of information and cooperation during the investigation. It is important to remember this case involved two victims and two suspects. Through DNA evidence we learned the identity of one of the offenders and that offender has unfortunately died prior to being charged with these crimes. The investigation continues in order to identify the second offender."

They ask anyone with information on the case to call Bessemer police at 205-425-2411 or the Tip Line at 205-428-3541.

"This was a sad case for the legal system," Anthony said. "One, the system punished a person that could not afford a bond by placing a $540,000 bond on him after giving him a court-appointed attorney. Two, The DNA results took more than 15 months and, three, the identity of my client by a Facebook photo was a a bad ID. I hope we can learn from this bad case."

Weaver said he was angry at first. "I looked at it like it was a bad thing," he said. "But there was no point in being mad."

At the county jail, he said, there was a Bible study going on near him and he could hear part of what they were talking about. "I heard somebody say something about a disobedient child," he said. "It was like God just picked me up and made me walk up those steps. I immediately got closer to God."

Weaver said it felt crazy to be accused of all those crimes. "How y'all made me look, that's how I looked to other people. That's how folks looked at me," he said. "I learned not to care. At the end of the day, I had to get myself out of the situation and I had to go to God to do that."

"Like I said, everything happens for a reason. If I had never got locked up, I could be somewhere worse," he said. "Since I sat down, I grew up. I take life serious now."

Weaver said once he was released from jail, all he wanted to do was spend time with those closest to him. "My family, my momma is all I need," he said. "And God."

He is back working at the restaurant where he worked when he was arrested two years ago. He said he wants to go back to school to become an HVAC specialist and ultimately open his own business.

Asked what he wants people to know about him, Weaver said this: "They said I was a menace to society," he said. "I'm not a monster."