Springfield group earns freedom for wrongly convicted man
Christopher Abernathy exonerated on DNA evidence after 30 years
A judge vacated the conviction of a Chicago man today in a 1984 murder, thanks in part to the efforts of the Illinois Innocence Project in Springfield.
Christopher Abernathy of Midlothian, then age 17, was convicted in 1987 of the murder of 15-year-old Kristina Hickey in Park Forest. He is due to be released today following a court order vacating his conviction.
Judge Frank Zelezinksi approved an agreement this morning between Cook County prosecutors and lawyers for the Illinois Innocence Project. Abernathy's life sentence was overturned after newly tested DNA evidence made it clear that he did not commit the murder.
IIP is based at the University of Illinois-Springfield.
Watch for more on this story online and in next week's issue of Illinois Times.