March 8th, 2012
On Tuesday a judge vacated the conviction of an Aurora, Illinois man who has maintained his innocence for the past 12 years in the murder of Shawn Miller and attempted murder of Leroy Starks. Two eyewitnesses to the murder identified Jonathan Moore as the shooter and he was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to 80 years in prison for the crime. Last April a confidential informant came to the police and provided new evidence indicating that Moore was not the shooter. Police followed up on the lead and officers John Munn and Darryl Moore located witnesses who had not come forward during the original investigation. Jonathan Moore’s family members report that police came to visit Moore in prison to tell him that they believed someone else committed the murder and that they planned to present their evidence to prosecutors. After police re-opened their investigation, they contacted the Kane County State’s Attorney Office to update them on the developments in the case and the office assigned a prosecutor to assist police in their investigation.
Judge Tim Sheldon vacated Moore’s conviction after prosecutors filed a motion to vacate all Moore’s convictions on Tuesday. Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said, “(Vacating the convictions) was a difficult decision, but I’m confident it was the right decision based on what we know today. The goal, both then and now, is to pursue the truth.” The Downstate Illinois Innocence Project became involved in the case after police visited Moore in prison to inform him about the new evidence in the case. Larry Golden, the Director of the Project, lauded the police stating, “The police officers deserve tremendous credit. This is unheard of. I know we haven’t had a case like this. This is the kind of county you want to live in.” Police are still actively investigating the case and searching for the true perpetrator.