Washington

Man whose conviction vacated in 1957 killing intends to sue

  • FILE - In this March 29, 2016, file photo, Jack McCullough appears in court for a hearing on his petition for post-conviction relief at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore, Ill. McCullough, who a prosecutor says was wrongly convicted in the abduction and killing of a 7-year-old Illinois schoolgirl in 1957 will be released from prison, a judge ordered Friday, April 15, 2016. (Danielle Guerra/Daily Chronicle via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT, CHICAGO TRIBUNE OUT(/Daily Chronicle via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT; CHICAGO TRIBUNE OUT

    FILE - In this March 29, 2016, file photo, Jack McCullough appears in court for a hearing on his petition for post-conviction relief at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore, Ill. McCullough, who a prosecutor says was wrongly convicted in the abduction and killing of a 7-year-old Illinois schoolgirl in 1957 will be released from prison, a judge ordered Friday, April 15, 2016. (Danielle Guerra/Daily Chronicle via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT, CHICAGO TRIBUNE OUT(/Daily Chronicle via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT; CHICAGO TRIBUNE OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • 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)

  • Jack McCullough's stepdaughter Janey O'Connor hugs her cousin Jenn Houton after Judge William Brady released McCullough and granted him a new trial during a hearing in the DeKalb County Courthouse on Friday, April 15, 2016 in Sycamore, Ill. McCullough who a prosecutor says was wrongly convicted in the 1957 killing of an Illinois schoolgirl was released Friday shortly after a judge vacated his conviction, 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's stepdaughter Janey O'Connor hugs her cousin Jenn Houton after Judge William Brady released McCullough and granted him a new trial during a hearing in the DeKalb County Courthouse on Friday, April 15, 2016 in Sycamore, Ill. McCullough who a prosecutor says was wrongly convicted in the 1957 killing of an Illinois schoolgirl was released Friday shortly after a judge vacated his conviction, 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)

A 76-year-old Washington state man released from prison after a prosecutor concluded he was wrongly convicted in the 1957 killing of a schoolgirl says he intends to sue Illinois.

Jack McCullough spoke to The Associated Press on Sunday, two days after a judge vacated his 2012 conviction in the slaying of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph in Sycamore, Illinois.

He says about his imprisonment: "They didn't just punish me — they punished ... my whole family."

McCullough spoke from an acquaintance's home outside Sycamore. He says while behind bars, he wrote letters to state officials and the president pleading them to intervene. He says those messages went unanswered.

DeKalb County's current state's attorney has called the investigation of McCullough deeply flawed. McCullough says investigators wanted to boast they'd solved one of the oldest cold cases in the country to go to trial.