PARIS, IL. (ECWd) -
I attended two court hearings this month for the case of Fred Cox, 2014CF121, found guilty on December 16, 2015 of felony predatory criminal sexual assault / victim under 13 years of age.
We received information that DNA evidence tested did not match defendant, and attended the next available court hearing. According to family members of defendant, there has been notification twice that DNA did not match, and that the State apparently knows whose DNA did match.
Timeline as we know it:
- The offense occurred in June 2014
- December 16, 2015 a jury found Defendant guilty - with testimony presented of prior conviction from around 20 years ago
- Sentencing scheduled for February 2016 - was cancelled due to snow storm
- A few weeks after sentencing hearing cancelled, notice was received that DNA was found in victim's underwear and that it was being tested to see if it matched defendant
- April 2016 - verbal notification came back that the DNA did not match defendant
- May 2016 - cause continued until June 7th
- June 7, 2016 - hearing postponed until June 28, 2016 awaiting official DNA testing results
- June 28, 2016 - verbal notification came back that the DNA did not belong to defendant, however, it did belong to another person who has allegedly been identified. Also, the underwear that was tested did belong to the victim (we received a report that the mother of the victim stated she may have given the police department the wrong pair of underwear to test)
- Next hearing scheduled for July 18, 2016 where hopefully the official written DNA test report will be available. State's Attorney Mark Isaf informed the Judge that the lab stated it would be available by July 8, 2016.
For today's hearing, SA Isaf stated the official lab results should be available by July 8, 2016 and that a new hearing should be scheduled. Defense Attorney McGrath stated that defendant's medicine and prescriptions had expired, that he had lost a lot of weight while in the Edgar County jail, and that he needed to be able to see his doctor to obtain a new prescription. The Court allowed furlough for defendant's wife to take him from the county jail to his doctor appointments and immediately back to the county jail. A minimum of 72 hours notice to the Sherriff was also required.
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