- Associated Press - Friday, March 25, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - The Latest on the 1957 killing of 7-year-old Illinois girl Maria Ridulph:

1 p.m.

The attorney for a man convicted of killing an Illinois girl in 1957 says he’s pleased a prosecutor won’t challenge an appeal of the conviction.

Public defender Tom McCulloch represents Jack McCullough, who was convicted in 2012 in the death of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph. On Friday, DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack said newly discovered evidence makes him believe McCullough couldn’t have killed the girl. Schmack said he wouldn’t oppose McCullough’s request to dismiss his conviction.

The public defender says given the filing, “hopefully this comes to a rapid and favorable conclusion.” He says the appeal will be back in court Tuesday and he’s hopeful McCullough could be released soon.

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12:50 p.m.

Jack McCullough’s step-daughter says she’s eager for him to return to Washington as soon as possible.

McCullough was convicted in 2012 in the 1957 killing of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. On Friday, DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack said newly discovered evidence makes him believe McCullough couldn’t have killed the girl. Schmack said he wouldn’t oppose McCullough’s request to dismiss his conviction.

McCullough’s step-daughter Janey O’Connor tells The (DeKalb) Daily-Chronicle that she hopes McCullough comes home soon. But she understands “the wheels of justice move slowly.”

Meanwhile, Maria’s older brother Charles Ridulph called Schmack’s filing “ridiculous.” Ridulph said the prosecutor was disregarding other evidence that shows McCullough is guilty.

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12:35 p.m.

The northern Illinois prosecutor who says he doesn’t think Jack McCullough killed Maria Ridulph in 1957 says he truly wishes the crime had been solved.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack on Friday released results of a court-ordered review of McCullough’s case. The prosecutor says newly discovered evidence makes him believe McCullough couldn’t have killed the 7-year-old. Schmack says he won’t oppose McCullough’s request to dismiss his conviction.

Schmack says he knows there are people who “will never believe that (McCullough) is not responsible.” But, he says, he can’t let that sway him from doing his job. Schmack says he expected to find reliable evidence when he started the review but “no such evidence could be discovered.”

The prosecutor says convicting the wrong man isn’t a proper legacy.

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12:25 p.m.

Patricia Quinn says she’s convinced that Jack McCullough is responsible for the 1957 killing of her sister, Maria Ridulph.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack on Friday released results of a court-ordered review of McCullough’s case. The prosecutor says newly discovered evidence makes him believe McCullough couldn’t have killed the 7-year-old. Schmack says he won’t oppose McCullough’s request to dismiss his conviction.

Quinn, of El Paso near Peoria, says she thinks McCullough is guilty “and therefore belongs in prison.” She says she has faith that the judge in the case “will make the right decision.”

Quinn says the situation has been “very upsetting” and that her family has been in touch with Schmack for several months.

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11:50 a.m.

An Illinois prosecutor says he’s convinced that a man convicted in the 1957 killing of a 7-year-old girl couldn’t have committed the crime.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack announced the findings Friday after reviewing evidence in the case of Jack McCullough. The court-ordered, six-month review was prompted by McCullough’s push for a new trial.

The girl, Maria Ridulph, vanished from the small community of Sycamore on Dec. 3, 1957, and her body was found several months later. The slaying remained a mystery for decades.

McCullough, a neighbor at the time of the slaying, had long ago been cleared by authorities. But he was charged in 2011 during a renewed effort to solve the case. He was found guilty in 2012.

But Schmack says new evidence firms up an alibi.

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