Cook County prosecutors drop charges against exonerated men
CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County prosecutors say they won’t seek a retrial for two men released from prison last week after serving more than two decades behind bars.
Prosecutors on Friday dropped murder and rape charges against Nevest Coleman and Darryl Fulton, who were convicted in 1997 for the 1994 rape and murder of Antwinica Bridgeman and given life sentences. Last month a judge vacated their convictions and they were released from prison after new DNA testing pointed to another suspect.
A judge at Friday hearing told the two men, “You’re free to go.”
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said in a statement that it wouldn’t seek another trial for the men because it wouldn’t be able to meet its burden proof. Prosecutors also said that available evidence, including DNA, isn’t sufficient to pursue prosecution of anyone else for the crime.