Chicago Man’s Murder Conviction Vacated after DNA Excludes Him


A Cook County judge vacated the conviction of a Chicago man who spent 27 years in prison for a murder which DNA now proves he did not commit.

A story in the

Chicago Tribune

reports that Judge Alfredo Maldonado overturned Daniel Anderson’s conviction Monday after advanced DNA testing of blood from what was thought to be the murder weapon revealed that it was not. Fingernail scrapings from the victim also yielded two male profiles, neither of which matched to Anderson.

Anderson confessed to the murder and attempted rape of his childhood friend Cathy Trunko during a 16-hour interrogation after being picked up on a disorderly conduct charge in 1980. During his confession, Anderson identified the knife as the murder weapon. During the trial, prosecutors said the blood type on the knife matched Trunko’s. At trial, Anderson’s attorney argued that the confession was indeed coerced.

Anderson completed his sentence eight years ago and has since had to register as a sex offender. According to the


, his attorneys hope to quickly remove that stipulation.

Judge Maldonado ordered a new trial, saying that the verdict would likely be different in light of the new DNA results.

“This is a good day, but this is also a tragedy,” Joshua Tepfer, one of Andersen’s attorneys, told the


. “You can’t forget the family who lost a victim and never got justice.”

Sheila Murphy, Anderson’s original trial attorney, told the


she hopes Chicago police will use the DNA evidence to find the real perpetrator or perpetrators of the crime.

According to the


, Anderson was represented by attorneys from Northwestern University School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth 

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