Highway Billboard Aims to Free Man Convicted in 1995 Shootings

Family members of a man serving a life sentence after being convicted in the shooting deaths of two girls in 1995 hope a billboard erected along a Chicago-area highway will help re-open the case.

Drivers heading southbound on the Stevenson Expressway near the Harlem exit in Forest View will likely see a large billboard that reads “Free Matt Sopron.”

The billboard was put up last year, and family members say they plan to put more up in the Chicago area in hopes of raising awareness.

Sopron, now 43, is currently in prison at the Menard Correctional Center after being one of six teens convicted in the two girls’ shootings. Sopron was arrested nine months after the shootings and was convicted in 1998.

But Sopron's family says he is innocent and was wrongly convicted in the case.

“There is no DNA or physical evidence,” said Sopron’s attorney Allan Ackerman.

Sopron’s father claims his son was home sleeping the night of the crime and the family said a number of flaws in the case have been ignored.

Those flaws are highlighted, they say, on a website dedicated to freeing Sopron. 

The Conviction Integrity Unit at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office agreed to look into Sopron’s case.

“A review of this case is open and active at this time,” the office said in a statement. “Beyond that, we have no further comment.”

Families of the victims could not be reached for comment on the billboard or the family’s effort to re-open the case.

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