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Chicago to pay $10.2 million to innocent man imprisoned 26 years


The city has agreed to pay $10.2 million to a wrongfully convicted man who spent 26 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. He was convicted despite the fact that some attorneys familiar with the crime knew almost from the very beginning that he was innocent.

Cook County, Ill., prosecutors convicted Alton Logan, 55, for the Jan. 11, 1982, murder of Lloyd Wickliffe, a security guard working at a McDonald’s on Chicago’s far South Side. Police arrested Logan, then 28, and Edgar Hope a month after the killing, based on identifications made by a second security guard, who was wounded in the shooting.

A few days after their arrest, police also arrested Andrew Wilson for shooting to death two Chicago police officers. Hope told his lawyer that he and Wilson, not Logan, committed the murder at McDonald’s.

Dale Coventry and Jamie Kunz, Wilson’s public defenders, confronted Wilson, who admitted that he shot and killed one security guard and wounded the other guard, according to the Northwestern University Center for Wrongful Convictions.

Coventry and Kunz, however, did not reveal Wilson’s confession because of attorney-client privilege. The lawyers prepared a notarized affidavit and locked it in a box. Wilson died in prison on Nov. 19, 2007.

Coventry and Kunz then revealed their information and in 2008, Logan was released from prison. Cook County prosecutors, however, threatened to try him again for Wickliffe’s murder. The prosecutors later dropped the threat, according to the Center for Wrongful Convictions.

In 2009, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Paul Biebel, Jr., issued Logan a certificate of innocence, which will allow him to receive compensation from the state for the years he spent in prison and job training.