Ill. brothers to be freed from Menard

CHESTER, IL (KFVS) - Two Illinois brothers are expected to be released from a southern Illinois prison Friday after serving years behind bars.

They were to be released from the Menard Correctional Center around 11 a.m.

The convictions James Harden and Jonathan Barr were set aside Thursday by a Cook County Circuit Judge, after DNA testing linked a serial rapist to the 1991 rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl.

In November 1991, the body of Cateresa Matthews of Dixmoor, Illinois was found 19 days after her disappearance. Police say she had been raped and shot in the mouth.

Barr and Harden were just 14 and 16 at the time of the murder.

A post-conviction request by the brothers for DNA testing was denied until 2009.

Harden sought DNA testing in 2009, where a database match was made to Willie Randolph, a serial offender.

Randolph had been living in the victim's neighborhood at the time of the crime, and had recently been released on parole after serving a 20-year sentence for armed robbery. He was taken into custody in April of 2011.

Police say they interviewed another woman, who says she was raped in the exact location by Randolph.

Another man with ties to the case, Robert Taylor, also was to be freed from prison Thursday.

The State's Attorney's Office said Thursday it would be filing papers in court to vacate the convictions of two other men, who were wrongfully convicted.

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