Local

Men Hope To Be Cleared Of Rape, Murder Of Sex Worker

View Comments
Scales Of Justice

(Credit: CBS)

Lastest News Headlines:

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

CHICAGO (CBS) — A Cook County judge will decide Wednesday afternoon whether to throw out the convictions of four men for a rape and murder that occurred 17 years ago.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, the four men were teenagers when they were convicted of the rape and murder of sex worker Nina Glover, 30, on the cups between the Back of the Yards and Englewood neighborhoods. The men all ended up growing up in prison.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports

Glover’s naked body was found on Nov. 7, 1994, wrapped in a sheet and dumped in a garbage bin behind the building at 1400 W. Garfield Blvd., the Chicago Tribune reported at the time. Police said Glover had stolen a small amount of drugs from one of the defendants, who was allegedly a drug dealer, and owed another money, the newspaper reported.

Primitive DNA testing excluded the defendants – Michael Saunders, Harold Richardson, Terrill Swift and Vincent Thames – but they were all convicted anyway based on confessions they claim were coerced.

A fifth suspect, Jerry Fincher, was also originally charged in the case. But the Columbia Chronicle says he was charged after voluntarily giving information about the murder to help a friend who was in custody on drug charges. Fincher changed his story three times, and charges against him were later dropped, the Chronicle reported.

Saunders and Richardson are still now serving sentences in state prison. Swift has completed his sentence, but is on parole, and Thames has also finished his sentence, but has to live as a registered sex offender, attorneys say.

But the DNA recovered from Glover’s body was found to be a match to another man altogether. It matched semen recovered from Johnny Douglas, then 32, who was later convicted of a very similar strangulation murder against sex worker Gytonne Marsh in the Marquette Park neighborhood in 1997.

His DNA also matched the semen found on the body of Elaine Martin, another sex worker who was found murdered in 1995, although he was acquitted of that crime, attorneys said.

Douglas himself was ultimately shot and killed in 2008. His accused killer was acquitted after claiming self-defense, the Tribune reported.

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Cook County Criminal Court Chief Judge Paul Biebel will make a ruling on whether Saunders, Richardson, Swift and Thames should have their convictions vacated.

<a href="http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/11/04/second-member-of-exonerated-trio-released-from-prison/"Earlier this month, three other men – Robert Taylor and brothers James Harden and Jonathan Barr – were exonerated of the 1991 rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl in Dixmoor.

They were teenagers when the body of Cateresa Matthews was found on a path near Interstate 57 in Dixmoor. Two co-defendants, Robert Lee Veal and Shainnie Sharp, testified against the other three for lighter sentences, but later recanted.

View Comments