KANKAKEE — Attorneys for Terrence Haynes recently filed a petition for their client to begin the process to get a certificate of innocence from the state.
A 1999 murder in which Haynes was found guilty was dismissed by the Kankakee County State’s Attorney’s office in June.
Haynes had served 20 years of a 45-year murder sentence, but the Illinois Appellate Court ruled in May 2018 he should be tried again when it was learned a key witness recanted his testimony and some other facts came to light. Haynes was out on bail since January.
The 42-year-old Haynes was convicted in August 2000 of shooting and killing Cezaire Murrell on May 27, 1999, in Kankakee. He was sentenced to 45 years by Judge Kathy Bradshaw-Elliott.
On Thursday, Bradshaw-Elliott recused herself from hearing the petition. She was the trial judge.
The matter now goes to Chief Judge Michael Kramer to reassign the case.
Chicago attorneys Andy Hale and Shawn Barnett, from Hale and Monico, represented Haynes. He was not at the hearing.
Hale and Barnett said State’s Attorney Jim Rowe will not fight the motion.
“We were hoping today we could put things behind us,” Hale said after the hearing. “Terrence is ready to get on with his life.”
Hale said Haynes is looking for work and is spending time with family.
If granted the certificate of innocence, a wrongly convicted person can bring a claim of damages against the state.
Under the current guidelines, Haynes could receive up to $200,000 for being imprisoned for 20 years.
Among other things, the certificate helps by providing financial assistance for education.