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Members Of ‘Englewood Four’ To Get $24 Million After Wrongful Murder Convictions

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Englewood Four

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2012 file photo, Harold Richardson, left, Vincent Thames, second from left, Terrill Swift, and Michael Saunders, right, pose for a photo after a hearing in Chicago for the four men known as “the Englewood Four,” whose 1994 rape and murder convictions were overturned in November 2011. New DNA evidence linked another person to the crime.

Paul Beaty, File

The Cook County Board is expected to approve a $24 million settlement Thursday for members of the so-called Englewood Four. The men were wrongly convicted of the 1994 rape and murder of Nina Glover after each of them gave confessions that would later be discredited by DNA evidence.

According to court filings Terrill Swift, Michael Saunders, Harold Richardson, and Vincent Thames were all between 15 and 18 when they confessed to the crime.

Advances in DNA testing later identified Johnny Douglas as the source of the semen taken from the victim and excluded the four men.

Douglas had previously been arrested twice and convicted once for sexual assault, and charged with murder three times and convicted once. He was also interviewed by Chicago police the morning they discovered Glover’s body in a dumpster behind a liquor store in the Englewood neighborhood.

The $24 million settlement before the county Thursday would be split between three of the men. The fourth, Terrill Swift, had already reached a $5.6 million settlement with the county in the summer of 2017.

This settlement follows other related settlements with the city of Chicago for an additional $30 million divvied between the four men.

“No one should ever think that this money is a field day for these victims,” said Stuart Chanen, an attorney for Vincent Thames. “They got the rawest of raw deals.”

Robert Wildeboer is the senior editor of WBEZ’s Criminal Justice Desk. Follow him @robertwildeboer.

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