Thursday, February 12, 2015

Man Freed After Sentence Tossed in Illinois Teen's Death

A man who spent nearly 30 years in prison for the 1984 sexual assault and slaying of a 15-year-old suburban Chicago girl left prison a free man Wednesday after a judge threw out charges against him. 

Christopher Abernathy, 48, was released after a judge agreed to a prosecutor's request to vacate his life sentence, Illinois Corrections Department spokesman Tom Shaer said. Abernathy had been sentenced to life in 1987, but DNA testing last August excluded him from the case.

"He is elated and just so happy that he's able to go home, that he's free and gets to be with his family," his attorney, Lauren Kaeseberg, said. She said Abernathy didn't make a statement as he left the Stateville Correctional Center near Joliet.

Abernathy was represented by the Illinois Innocence Project based at the University of Illinois Springfield.

This story was reported by the Associated Press on February 11, 2015.

Read the entire article here.