CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County prosecutors went to court on Tuesday to have a judge dismiss the convictions of two men one for a 1990 murder and another for 2002 rape.
Now, both are being freed from downstate prisons, WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports.
CBS 2’s Chris Martinez was there when Carl Chatman walked out of a prison in Dixon, Ill.
Chatman, 58, was convicted of raping a woman inside the Daley Center in 2002. His accuser, an employee there, told police she walked into a courtroom on the 21st floor around 7:30 in the morning when a homeless man attacked.
She described Chatman and he was arrested a short time later nearby.
The problem, says Chatman’s attorney, is Chatman never committed a crime. Only after the accuser filed a civil lawsuit did her story begin to unravel. The woman made an identical accusation 20 years earlier, the attorney says.
Also, there was also no physical evidence. A deputy, sleeping in an adjacent room at the time, never heard any screams. And if the Daley Center was locked down in the morning, how did Chatman get out?
Carl Chatman walked out of prison into the arms of his three siblings, ending his nearly decade long nightmare.
“It’s a real good feeling,” said Chapman.
His family has maintained his innocence since day one.
“From the time we put our hands together on the glass at 26th and California and he told me he didn’t do it, I knew right then and there I was gonna walk this one with you. I’m gonna walk it. And I don’t even mind walking it. I’m just glad the walk stops here,” said Carl Chatman’s sister Theresa.
Just after his release today, Chatman was asked if he forgives the woman who falsely accused him. He said at this point, he’d have to think about that.
Chatman was serving a 30-year prison sentence.
Lathierial Boyd, 47, was wrongly convicted for a 1990 shooting that killed one man and injured a second outside a North Side bar in the 3500 block of N. Clark St. He was serving an 82-year prison sentence.
Nine witnesses failed to identify Boyd in a line-up, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said at a news conference on Tuesday.
That information was not even raised by Boyd’s defense.
A single gunman approached Michael Fleming and Ricky Warner, who were selling drugs on the street, and fired several times, killing Fleming instantly and wounding Warner, who was shot in the neck and paralyzed.
Three other individuals who were standing or walking by were also shot, but not seriously injured.
Boyd never matched the initial description of the shooter and he had a solid alibi.
“He was staying that night with his sister and boyfriend, who was at the time a Cook County Deputy Sheriff, and they both testified he’s been there miles away from the scene of the crime,” said Patricia Bronte, Boyd’s former attorney.
The Boyd and Chatman cases bring to five the total number of convictions that have been dismissed since Alvarez created the Conviction Integrity Unit last year.