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.