Life Sentence to be Vacated in Illinois Teen’s 1984 Death

CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County prosecutors say they will dismiss charges against a man who has been serving a sentence of life in prison for the 1984 murder and sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s office planned a Wednesday afternoon news conference to make the announcement. Alvarez’s office says she will vacate the sentence of 48-year-old Christopher Abernathy after new evidence developed.

Abernathy is being held in Stateville Correctional Center. He’s been in prison since 1987. That’s when he was sentenced to life for the Park Forest high school student’s death.

The case is part of the prosecutor’s Conviction Integrity Unit that was created in 2012 to reinvestigate wrongful or questionable convictions.

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