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Hearing Set For Man Convicted Of Killing Family, Cutting Baby From Womb

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Fedell Caffey, Debra Evans

Fedell Caffey (left) was convicted of the murder of Debra Evans and her two children, and of cutting an unborn baby out of Evans’ womb. (Credit: Illinois Department of Corrections/CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — One of the people convicted of the murder of a pregnant woman and cutting out her unborn child over 15 years ago is headed back to court next week.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly has said Fedell Caffey will get a chance to argue why he feels he did not get a fair trial before he was convicted of the 1995 murder of Debra Evans and two of her children in their Addison apartment.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports

Chicago-Kent Law School Professor Richard Kling handled some of Caffey’s previous unsuccessful appeals.

“Now, the ball is in the other court, and Judge Kennelly has said Mr. Caffey is going to be allowed to prove what he says existed,” Kling said.

Kling says those allegations include that a DuPage County prosecutor on the case was buying drugs from a witness, and some defense witnesses were not allowed to testify.

“We tracked down those witnesses, and we have tape recorded statements of a lot of those witnesses. We have some sworn affidavits and depositions of those witnesses,” Kling said.

Caffey, now 39, was convicted and sentenced to death in Evans’ murder. His girlfriend, Jacqueline Williams, and Williams’ cousin, Levern Ward, were also convicted for their roles in the murders.

Caffey’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison when then-Gov. George Ryan cleared Death Row in 2003.

Caffey and Ward killed Debra Evans, her 10-year-old daughter, Samantha, and her 7-year-old son, Joshua. Afterward, they cut Evans’ full-term fetus from her womb. The baby, named Elijah, survived.

Immediately following the murders, Caffey’s cousins claimed he wasn’t even there, and that Williams planned and carried out the murders on her own. Caffey’s family said Williams had told him was pregnant, and needed to produce a baby so he wouldn’t leave, CBS 2 reported in 1995.

That baby was allegedly the one cut from Debra Evans.

Caffey has continued to maintain he is innocent, and Kling says there was no physical evidence linking him to the gruesome crime.

Both sides are due before Judge Kennelly on Feb. 15, when he is expected to set the schedule for the evidentiary hearing.

Kling predicts it will be months before the hearing begins, because Caffey needs to get attorneys appointed and go over evidence from a case that is over 10 years old.

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