Illinois man freed after murder conviction vacated
One of two half-brothers wrongfully convicted in the 1991 rape and murder of a suburban Chicago girl has been set free after nearly two decades in prison.
Thirty-six-year-old James Harden was released Friday from Menard Correctional Center in southern Illinois. Attorney Craig Cooley says the other half-brother, 34-year-old Jonathan Barr, will likely remain at the prison at least into next week while paperwork related to a decades-old juvenile conviction is processed.
A judge vacated their wrongful convictions this week based on newly-tested DNA evidence.
The men were among five teenagers convicted of killing Cateresa Matthews in Dixmoor. The judge also cleared Robert Taylor, who was released from prison Thursday. The two other men have served their sentences.