Chicago's City Council Finance Committee on Monday approved a $3.6 million settlement for a man who served nearly a decade behind bars on an attempted murder charge for a crime he did not commit.
Robert Wilson, now 56, was arrested and charged with attempted murder in 1997 after 24-year-old June Siler was slashed in her throat and face with a box cutter at a South Side bus stop, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Though Wilson eventually confessed to the crime, he claims that his admission came after 30 hours of coercive interrogation that included physical abuse. He was also reportedly denied his blood pressure medication, food or sleep during that time.
Though another man committed several other attacks similar to Siler's in the same area during the weeks following Wilson's arrest, a judge refused to hear that evidence in court, CBS Chicago reports. A federal judge later ordered that evidence to be heard in a new trial, during which the other man admitted to attacking Siler.
Wilson's 30-year prison sentence was subsequently cut short and he was freed after serving nine years and nine months, according to CBS.
In 2008, WGN reports, Wilson was pardoned by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. He sued the city seeking $10 million in damages -- an amount which one alderman said he deserved, but would not be financially prudent.
Locke Bowman, Wilson’s attorney, said that his client's life was "destroyed" by the experience. Wilson is currently unemployed and living in Chicago, the Sun-Times reports.
The full City Council will consider the settlement for final approval Wednesday.