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DNA Evidence Frees Illinois Man

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CHESTER, Ill. (AP) – One of two Illinois brothers wrongfully convicted of raping and murdering a young girl in 1991 has been freed from prison after DNA evidence led a judge to vacate both men’s convictions.

Stacey Solano of the state Department of Corrections said 36-year-old James Harden was freed Friday from the Menard Correctional Center. Attorneys had said they expected his brother, 34-year-old Jonathan Barr, to be freed, too, but he remained in custody. The reason wasn’t clear.

The men were among five teenagers convicted of killing Cateresa Matthews in Dixmoor, a Chicago suburb.

DNA testing led prosecutors to reopen the case this year.

A judge this week vacated the brothers’ convictions and that of another man, Robert Taylor, who was released from prison Thursday. The two other men have served their sentences.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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