Authorities Release Man Wrongfully Convicted Of Murdering 6-Year-Old Boy In 1988

Screenshot/CBS NEWS Chicago

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Brian Beals of Chicago was released after 35 years in prison for a murder he was wrongly convicted of in 1988, according to a statement from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.

“Today, in a significant step towards justice, a Cook County court granted a petition to vacate the conviction of Brian Beals, who was wrongfully convicted in 1988 of the murder of a six-year-old and injuring his mother and served 35 years in prison. This wrongful conviction represents a grave miscarriage of justice not only for Mr. Beals but also for the victim and their family, who have been denied true justice for decades,” the December 12th statement began.

Brian was 22 at the time of 6-year-old Demetrius Campbell’s death, according to CBS2 Chicago. Beals was approached by a drug dealer whom he had an argument with, according to contemporary reports. Beals then reportedly got into his car and began to drive away as his car was shot at.

The bullets struck Campbell and his mother Valerie, who were standing nearby, per the outlet. Even though three separate witnesses reportedly described an offender who was not Beals, he was convicted on Valerie Campbell’s testimony while arguing his innocence throughout.

Attorneys, with the aid of the Illinois Innocence Project, found five new witnesses who stated he was the target, not the shooter, CBS2 reported. This testimony was supported by advanced photographic enhancement revealing bullet holes in his car’s rear bumper, per the outlet. (RELATED: Judge Sentences Dentist To Life In Prison For Hiring Hitman To Kill Ex-Brother-In-Law)

“I’m a taking it in. Processing it. I’m looking forward to building a life, starting over,” Brian explained with regard to how he felt about his release, per CBS2, “I have to figure out what this world has in it.”