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Man convicted of murder goes free

CHICAGO, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- Prosecutors in Chicago dropped charges Friday against a man who spent eight years in prison for a knife killing.

Maurice Patterson, 54, was convicted of the murder of Robert Head based on false testimony, Robert Warden, executive director of the Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law said. A bloody knife found near the scene of the killing had Head's DNA mixed with that of another person but not Patterson's.

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"The prosecution, however, falsely told Patterson's judge and jury that the knife did not have the victim's DNA on it and was not connected to the murder," Warden said.

A police officer backed up that statement on the witness stand.

Warden said Patterson's appellate lawyers learned the truth five years later.

The Cook County District Attorney asked a judge to dismiss the charges.

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