CHICAGO (CBS) — Lake County prosecutors have finally cleared the name of a man who served 20 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit.
WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty reports, in May, Bennie Starks was cleared of the rape of a Waukegan woman, but prosecutors had fought to keep his aggravated battery conviction in place until last month, when they agreed to vacate that conviction.
But one more small snafu in court on Monday delayed that official exoneration for a little while longer, due to a mixup about the wording on a court order.
Starks, 53, eventually left court Monday a free man, and with the exoneration he’d been seeking for 26 years – something that had him a bit stunned.
“I don’t even have any words. I’m overwhelmed with joy,” he said.