News 12.13.11

Fourth Illinois Man Exonerated in “Dixmoor Five” Case

On Monday, Robert Lee Veal became the fourth defendant in the “Dixmoor Five” case to have his conviction vacated by a Cook County Circuit Judge. Prosecutors say they will not seek a retrial. Last month, three of his co-defendants were exonerated after DNA tests proved their innocence and implicated another man in the crime.

Veal and four other teenagers—Jonathan Barr, Robert Taylor, James Harden and Shainne Sharp—were wrongfully convicted of the 1991 rape and murder of 14-year-old Cateresa Matthews of southwest suburban Chicago. Veal falsely confessed to the crime, signing a written statement after law enforcement interrogated him without legal counsel or guardians present.

Veal and Sharp pled guilty and agreed to testify against the other three teenagers. Sharp remains in an Indiana prison on unrelated drug charges, but he is also expected to be exonerated.


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