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Pardoned In Murders, Man Sues Peoria For Coerced Confession

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois man who maintains police coerced him into making a false confession to a double murder is suing the city of Peoria and its police department.

Attorneys for Johnnie Lee Savory filed a lawsuit Wednesday in federal court in Chicago. They say Peoria police coerced a false confession from Savory when he was 14 after 31 hours of “abusive and illegal interrogation.” The suit claims the city destroyed evidence and that recent DNA testing rules out Savory as a suspect.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn pardoned Savory in 2015.

He’s seeking compensatory and punitive damages for the nearly 30 years he spent in prison for the killings of 19-year-old Connie Cooper and 14-year-old James Robinson.

Peoria’s corporation counsel, Donald Leist, says he cannot comment because he’s unaware of the lawsuit.

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