Cleared of murder after 17 years, Chicago man killed

SHARE Cleared of murder after 17 years, Chicago man killed

Alprentiss Nash — who spent 17 years in prison before being exonerated of a murder charge in 2012 — was shot to death Tuesday afternoon on the’s Near West Side.

Nash, 40, was pronounced dead at Stroger Hospital after being hot in the chest in the 400 block of South Paulina around 2:20 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Katherine Zellner, an attorney who represented Nash in a wrongful-conviction lawsuit, said Nash was killed “during a failed robbery attempt. The police have a suspect in custody.”

The police said they were questioning someone they described as a person of interest Wednesday.

Nash was convicted of the murder and robbery of a Chicago man on the South Side in 1995 and imprisoned fromApril 30, 1995, until Aug. 30, 2012, when he was freed after Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez moved to vacate his conviction.

Nash was given a “certificate of actual evidence by the court,” Zellner said.

Two years later, on March 14, 2014, she filed a federal lawsuit accusing the Chicago Police Department of violating Nash’s civil rights. That suit is pending, Zellner said.

The killing that sent Nash to prison happened the afternoon of April 30, 1995. Three masked men entered the home of Leon Stroud, a known bootlegger, in the 11000 block of Wentworth Avenue and robbed him, and one of them shot him in the chest, according to the lawsuit.

One of the robbers left behind a mask, but it was never tested for DNA, fingerprints or other forensic evidence, according to the suit.

In 2012, DNA testing on the mask exonerated Nash, and Alvarez moved to vacate the conviction.

Nash said in the suit he had anairtight alibi — that he was selling drugs between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. that day, and then that two people confirmed he was shopping for clothes between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m..

But a man arrested in the crime, who owed Nash $350, was bullied into identifying Nash as the killer, according to the lawsuit, which says a police officer told the man he wouldn’t be charged and wouldn’t go to jail if he named Nash as the shooter.

To quickly resolve the case, the police “conspired to frame Nash,” the lawsuit claims.

Though people confirmed Nash was at a clothing store at the time ofStroud’smurder, officers coerced witnesses to identify him in a police lineup, according to the suit, which notes that no physical evidence tied Nash to the crime.

He was sentenced to 80 years in prison.

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