CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County prosecutors have vacated the murder conviction of a Chicago man and dropped all charges against him after he spent nearly 16 years in prison.
Eric Blackmon learned to be a paralegal while in prison and represented himself in more than a decade of court appeals before winning a new trial after petitioning the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Blackmon was convicted in the murder of Tony Cox on July 4, 2001. He was arrested two months later after two eyewitnesses picked him out of a lineup as the shooter.
The 37-year-old Blackmon argued his trial attorney failed to call alibi witnesses who could have proved he was at an Independence Day barbecue far from the fatal shooting scene.
Blackmon has been free on bond since the spring of 2018, after the appeals court sent the case back for a new trial.
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