ROCKFORD — Prosecutors have dropped murder charges against a Rockford man who spent more than 23 years behind bars for a 1993 killing and armed robbery.
The Rockford Register Star reports that a special appellate prosecutor on Wednesday said he would drop the case against 41-year-old John W. Horton Jr. after reviewing evidence and a court ruling sending the case back for a new trial. The prosecutor asked for the case to be dismissed and the judge agreed.
Horton was 17 when he was convicted of killing Arthur Castaneda in Rockford and sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The Illinois Appellate Court in October ruled Horton should have a new trial. Horton was freed on bond in February. Horton on Wednesday said he feels “a lot of hurt starting to go away.”