Washington

The Latest: Man wrongly convicted in 1957 murder to be freed

Jack McCullough, left, smiles from the backseat of his stepdaughter Janey O'Connor's rental car after he was released from the DeKalb County Jail in Sycamore, Ill., Friday, April 15, 2016. An Illinois judge vacated the conviction of the 76-year-old man in a 1957 killing and ordered his immediate release from prison Friday, meaning that one of the oldest cold cases to be tried in U.S. history has officially gone cold again. (Danielle Guerra/Daily Chronicle via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT; CHICAGO TRIBUNE OUT

Jack McCullough, left, smiles from the backseat of his stepdaughter Janey O'Connor's rental car after he was released from the DeKalb County Jail in Sycamore, Ill., Friday, April 15, 2016. An Illinois judge vacated the conviction of the 76-year-old man in a 1957 killing and ordered his immediate release from prison Friday, meaning that one of the oldest cold cases to be tried in U.S. history has officially gone cold again. (Danielle Guerra/Daily Chronicle via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT; CHICAGO TRIBUNE OUT  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on a retired Washington state security guard who an Illinois prosecutor says was wrongly convicted in a 1957 slaying (all times local):

11 a.m.

A judge has ordered the release of a 76-year-old man who a prosecutor says was wrongly convicted of killing an Illinois schoolgirl in 1957.

The order came at a hearing Friday in Sycamore, Illinois, near where Maria Ridulph was abducted as she played in the snow. Forest hikers found Maria's remains five months later.

In 2012, Jack McCullough, a retired security guard from Washington state, was convicted in Maria's killing and sentenced to life in prison, in one of the oldest unsolved U.S. cases ever to go to trial.

DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack conducted a six-month review and concluded that McCullough couldn't possibly have killed Maria. Schmack found evidence to shore up McCullough's claim that he had been 35 miles away in Rockford, Illinois, when Maria was abducted.

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00:20 a.m.

A 76-year-old man serving a life sentence for the 1957 slaying of an Illinois schoolgirl is hoping to be set free after a prosecutor re-examined evidence and concluded the former Washington state security guard couldn't have committed the crime.

Jack McCullough was convicted in 2012 in the killing of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph, in one of the oldest unsolved cases to go to trial.

Defense lawyers will argue why McCullough should be released at a hearing Friday.

DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack agrees that McCullough should be freed. Schmack says old and new evidence proves McCullough was 35 miles away when the second-grader was abducted as she played in the snow in Sycamore, Illinois.

Maria's body was found months later.