Wrongly convicted Washington man released in Illinois - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wrongly convicted Washington man released in Illinois

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Wrongly convicted Washington man released in Illinoi Wrongly convicted Washington man released in Illinoi

SYCAMORE, Ill. (AP) - The Latest on a retired Washington state police officer who an Illinois prosecutor says was wrongly convicted in a 1957 slaying (all times local):
    
2 p.m.
    
A 76-year-old Washington state man has been released from prison in Illinois after a prosecutor persuaded a judge that the man was wrongly convicted in 2012 of killing a schoolgirl six decades earlier.
    
Judge William Brady vacated the conviction of Jack McCullough Friday morning and ordered him to be freed. McCullough left a jail near the courthouse Friday afternoon, smiling to reporters from the backseat of his stepdaughter's rental car.
    
Brady's order came in Sycamore, Illinois, where Maria Ridulph was playing in the snow in December 1957 when she was abducted. Her body was found five months later.
    
McCullough was convicted in Maria's death in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison.
    
In a six-month review of evidence this year, DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack concluded that McCullough couldn't have killed Maria.
    
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12:55 p.m.
    
The stepdaughter of a 76-year-old Washington state man who a prosecutor says was wrongly convicted in 2012 of killing an Illinois schoolgirl six decades ago says he'll be released within hours.
    
Janey O'Connor attended a hearing Friday morning at which a judge vacated the conviction of Jack McCullough and ordered him to be freed.
    
O'Connor told The Associated Press by phone that court officials say her step-father will be released from a jail near the courthouse Friday afternoon.
    
Judge William Brady's order came in Sycamore, Illinois, where Maria Ridulph was playing in the snow in December 1957 when she was abducted.
    
McCullough was convicted in Maria's death in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison.
    
DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack concluded this year that McCullough couldn't have killed Maria.
    
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11:45 a.m.
    
A judge has ordered a new trial for a 76-year-old Washington state man who a prosecutor says was wrongly convicted of killing an Illinois schoolgirl in 1957.
    
Judge William P. Brady on Friday vacated the conviction of Jack McCullough and ordered him to be freed.
    
The county prosecutor told Brady he wouldn't retry McCullough if the murder conviction was vacated. He says there are no grounds to retry someone who couldn't possibly have committed the crime.
    
The judge's order came in Sycamore, Illinois, where Maria Ridulph was playing in the snow in December 1957 when she was abducted.
    
McCullough was convicted in Maria's death in 2012 and sentenced to life in prison.
    
DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack concluded this year that McCullough couldn't have killed Maria.
    
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11 a.m.
    
A judge has ordered the release of a 76-year-old man who a prosecutor says was wrongly convicted of killing an Illinois schoolgirl in 1957.
    
The order came at a hearing Friday in Sycamore, Illinois, near where Maria Ridulph was abducted as she played in the snow. Forest hikers found Maria's remains five months later.
    
In 2012, Jack McCullough, a retired security guard from Washington state, was convicted in Maria's killing and sentenced to life in prison, in one of the oldest unsolved U.S. cases ever to go to trial.
    
DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack conducted a six-month review and concluded that McCullough couldn't possibly have killed Maria. Schmack found evidence to shore up McCullough's claim that he had been 35 miles away in Rockford, Illinois, when Maria was abducted.
    
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00:20 a.m.
    
A 76-year-old man serving a life sentence for the 1957 slaying of an Illinois schoolgirl is hoping to be set free after a prosecutor re-examined evidence and concluded the former Washington state security guard couldn't have committed the crime.
    
Jack McCullough was convicted in 2012 in the killing of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph, in one of the oldest unsolved cases to go to trial.
    
Defense lawyers will argue why McCullough should be released at a hearing Friday.
    
DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack agrees that McCullough should be freed. Schmack says old and new evidence proves McCullough was 35 miles away when the second-grader was abducted as she played in the snow in Sycamore, Illinois.
    
Maria's body was found months later.

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