Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Aurora man freed after new witnesses come forward in 2000 slaying

Thirty-year-old Jonathan Moore woke up Tuesday morning as a prisoner at the downstate Menard Correctional Center facing a projected parole date of 2057.

Later in the day, he walked out of the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles with his uncle as a free man. Kane County authorities vacated his conviction for a 2000 murder in Aurora and admitted they sent the wrong man to prison.

Attorneys from the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project at the University of Illinois-Springfield represented Moore after Aurora police and Kane County prosecutors revisited the case.

John Hanlon, the project's legal director, accompanied Moore to court Tuesday morning. Hanlon said Moore was grateful for the help he received.

“He wasn't at the crime scene. He's fully exonerated. Now his task is to adjust to society,” Hanlon said. “The credit for this primarily goes to Mr. McMahon and his office and the Aurora Police Department. They are to be highly, highly praised. If what we're talking about is justice, there's no question that justice was served.”

The Downstate Illinois Innocence Project was featured in an March 7, 2012, article in The Chicago Daily Herald.

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