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National Briefing / Illinois

Witnesses say they were paid

November 11, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Two witnesses in an investigation by Northwestern University journalism students said they were paid in the hopes that they would help free a convicted murderer, prosecutors alleged in court filings.

Tony Drakes and Michael Lane told state's attorney investigators that they were given money in an attempt to help free Anthony McKinney, convicted of slaying a guard in 1982, prosecutors said.

Professor David Protess of the university's Medill School of Journalism called the latest filing by the state "so filled with factual errors that if my students had done this kind of reporting or investigating, I would have given them an F."

Protess is also director of the Innocence Project, which won a new trial for McKinney.

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