Man Who Spent 17 Years Behind Bars for Wrongful Conviction Fatally Shot in Chicago

"The time is now. I'm a free man and I'm going to move forward," Nash said after his release from prison in 2012

A man has been fatally shot in Chicago nearly three years after he was released from prison, having spent 17 years behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit.

Alprentiss Nash, 40, was fatally shot in the chest Tuesday afternoon in the 1600 block of West Van Buren on the Near West Side, according to his attorney and police.

Police said Nash was taken to John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County where he was later pronounced dead.

Nash’s attorney, Kathleen Zellner, said Nash was murdered during a failed robbery attempt. Police could not immediately confirm that information but said a person of interest was being questioned in his death.

Nash was previously sentenced to 80 years in prison for murder in connection with the 1995 death of Leon Stroud of Chicago's South Side.

He spent 17 years in prison before being released in August 2012 after evidence indicated he might not have committed the crime.

Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said at the time that new DNA evidence and a collective investigation showed there was not enough evidence to convict Nash.

Nash said in 2012 that while he was shocked, he wasn’t angry. He just wanted to get on with his life.

"The time is now. I'm a free man and I'm going to move forward," he said.

According to court records, Nash was arrested shortly after the April 30, 1995, crime in Chicago's West Pullman neighborhood. He was convicted on witness testimony.

The killer wore a black ski mask during the crime. One was recovered from a gate post near Stroud's home. During a post-conviction appeal, Nash sought DNA testing of the mask. That was opposed by the state's attorney's office and subsequently dismissed by a circuit judge.

An Illinois Appellate Court later reversed that decision, ordering the DNA testing that in 2010 came back with a genetic profile matching another man.

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