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McLean Co. Prosecutors React to McNeil Case Development

BLOOMINGTON - The involvement of the Innocence Project in a 1998 murder isn't changing who prosecutors say is guilty.
BLOOMINGTON - The McLean County State's Attorney's office isn't changing its opinion of the outcome of a 1998 murder in Bloomington.

First Assistant State's Attorney Jane Foster said Tuesday the conviction of Barton McNeil is 100% justified, even though the Innocence Project is now reviewing McNeil's case.

It's a development WMBD 31 News broke Monday evening.

The director of the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project in Springfield says lawyers are in the very early stages of reviewing McNeil's case, but their specific focus is on the possibility of getting DNA testing to uncover new evidence.

WMBD 31 News took this information to Foster Tuesday.  She was not part of the original prosecution, but she said she had reviewed the McNeil case.

He is serving 100 years in prison for killing his 3 year old daughter Christina.  But he contends his ex-girlfriend Misook Wang is to blame.

Wang is also in jail, accused of murdering her mother-in-law last September in Bloomington.  She's then accused of burying the body in a nature preserve outside Chicago.

Foster said again Tuesday it is unusual to see one person with ties to two separate murder cases.

But she maintained McNeil's conviction is the right one and no evidence ties Wang to Christina's death.

She said she didn't think there could be any new evidence uncovered that would get McNeil a new trial or exonerate him.

"I can't speculate on what they're (the Innocence Project) is going to file or what motions they may or may not file.  I have no idea.  And if they do file something in court, our office will be ready to respond to review it and respond appropriately," she said.

McNeil has filed several unsuccessful appeals.  He's serving his sentence at the Menard Correctional Center in Menard, IL.
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