Jailed UM Student Gives First TV Interview to ABC FOX Montana - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Jailed UM Student Gives First TV Interview to ABC FOX Montana

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In an exclusive interview, the UM student jailed in China speaks to us in his first television interview-- just days after his release.

Guthrie McLean was told he would spend three years behind bars.

Luckily the Chinese authorities released him over the weekend.

Still in China, he told me tonight, about his terrifying ordeal via video chat.

Reporter: "So, Guthrie, it's good to see you out of jail."

Guthrie McLean, "It's good to be back.  Thank you."

Reporter: "What was it like?"

Guthrie McLean, "What was jail like? Not as bad as I expected."

Reporter: "What did they feed you?"

Guthrie McLean, "The food, while not great, was not terrible, either.  Watermelon, some rice, they switched me to a VIP room in the jail with about 20 other people.  We shared one room.  The shower and the toilet were all in the same room."

Reporter, "So, what exactly happened six weeks ago?"

Guthrie McLean, "I received a distress call from my mother.  She was arriving from the airport with a taxi and they got into a fight over a fare.  He got angry and started attacking her.  I ran down from the apartment, down the elevator and out the gate.  The first thing I did was push the guy, I chased him.  He ran to his car and he drove away."

Reporter: "And that's the last you thought you'd hear from the guy until the knock on the door from the police."

Guthrie, "They handcuffed me and didn't tell me what was going on.  They said they'd tell me when we got to the station."

Reporter, "That must have been terrifying."

Guthrie, "It was terrifying to not know what was going to happen.  They said they'd keep me there for three years.

Reporter, "What's the first thing you did when you got out?"

Guthrie, "I watched all the reports and media coverage on my case all over the globe.  I didn't know how big it was."

Reporter, "A lot of people care about you."

Guthrie, "Yes, they do.  And I’m thankful, I’m grateful to them."

Guthrie wanted to make sure to thank all of his friends and family, the president of the University of Montana and his professors there, and Senator Steve Daines, who he says was instrumental in negotiating his release.

Guthrie called back after the interview was over.

He wanted to make sure I mentioned how proud he is to be an American, if he weren't he says, he'd still be in jail.

He's not home yet, thought.  He's out of jail, but he's not out of the woods.

His case is still being adjudicated and there still needs to be some diplomatic wrangling before he can come home. 

But he says he still loves China, and he'll probably go back after he graduates from UM.

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