Judge Denies Motion, Investigation Into The 1994 Rape, Murder Continues

CHICAGO (CBS) — The family of a man locked up for nearly a quarter of a century was hoping for a better outcome Thursday morning during a new trial.

Nevest Coleman has been locked up since the mid-90s and was hoping to be a free man on Thursday after a trial with new evidence proving he was not guilty. But that was not the case – at least not right now.

CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli has more from the Criminal Courts Building at 26th and California.

Coleman and Darrell Fulton were both convicted in the rape and murder of a 20-year-old woman in Englewood that happened 23 years ago.

But DNA evidence has subsequently linked that crime to a serial rapist who is still on the loose.

Coleman was a Chicago White Sox groundskeeper with no criminal record when he found the body of the victim in the unsecured basement of a building where he lived. He called Police.

But detectives who trained under the disgraced police Commander John Burge turned their attention on Coleman and Fulton who both eventually confessed to the crime.

Coleman’s sister said the confession was given under duress. She also said during the time of her brothers incarceration their parents died and his two young children were forced to grow up without a father.

Prosecutors had at one point sought the death penalty in the case.

But only after dozens of family members and character witnesses testified on his behalf did prosecutors stop seeking the ultimate punishment.

The family is disappointed in the outcome of Thursday’s trial. They had petitioned Thursday to have Coleman immediately released pending the outcome of the investigation, because they said so much DNA evidence has come in. Even an additional sample came in Thursday that exonerated him.

But the judge, the same judge who sentenced him to life in prison 20 years ago, denied the motion to have Coleman immediately released saying the investigation needed to continue.

The next court date could be sometime in September. The family hopes Coleman can be released then.

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