Charges dropped 17 years after murder in Chicago

January 17, 2012

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Attorney Joshua Tepfer (WBEZ/Robert Wildeboer)

Cook County prosecutors are dropping the cases against four men who each spent more than 15 years in prison. The four men were teenagers when they confessed to the 1994 rape and murder of a Nina Glover, a prostitute on Chicago's South Side. But last year new DNA testing pointed to another man, Johnny Douglas, and the four convictions were thrown out.

In a hearing Tuesday that lasted just a minute, prosecutors told the judge that they'd been re-investigating the case and had decided not to retry it. The men said little as they left court.

"It's a great day. It's all I can say it's a great day. The judge made the right decision today and I'm grateful," said Michael Saunders, one recently released men.

Defense attorney Joshua Tepfer also said he was grateful, but he quivered with emotion pointing out that nine convictions have been thrown out in the last few months in Cook County.

"Something went horribly wrong in these cases and we need to investigate and find out what happened so it doesn't happen again," Tepfer said.

State's Attorney Anita Alvarez released a written statement saying her office agreed to the DNA testing that led to Tuesday's decision. She also extended her sympathies to the family of the victim.