- Associated Press - Friday, February 10, 2017

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) - A northern Illinois man who spent more than 23 years behind bars for a murder he maintains he didn’t commit has been freed on bond.

A Winnebago County judge on Friday set bond at $50,000 for 40-year-old John Horton Jr. His family posted $5,000 to bail him out of jail.

Horton called his release breathtaking.

Horton was convicted of the 1993 murder of Arthur Castaneda in Rockford. Horton was 17 years old when Castaneda was fatally shot during a robbery at a McDonald’s restaurant. He was sentenced in 1995 to natural life in prison without parole.

The Illinois Appellate Court in October ruled Horton should have a new trial. The court cited “outrageous errors and missteps” in the case.

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, https://www.rrstar.com

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