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DNA Evidence May Clear Waukegan Murder Convict

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(Credit: AP)

(Credit: AP)

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WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS) – A man who has spent 15 years in prison for murder might be cleared by DNA evidence.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, James L. Edwards, now 62, was convicted of the 1994 murder of businessman Fred Reckling, 71, the owner of Grand Appliance TV in Waukegan.

He was sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole, in 1996.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports

But now, Edwards’ attorney, Paul DeLuca said that a match might have been found for DNA at the crime scene, and it is not Edwards.

DeLuca says the next step is to verify the match.

After his arrest, Edwards confessed to the Reckling murder, but later claimed the confession was coerced after a 26-hour interrogation.

He had been arrested in 1996 for questioning in an unrelated armed robbery in Waukegan, and detectives said he confessed not only to the Reckling murder, but also several other crimes, including the murder of a woman in Shaker Heights, Ohio.

He is serving a separate life sentence for the Ohio murder, after being convicted in that case in 1997.

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