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Rockford man John Horton receives certificate of innocence


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — John Horton, a Rockford man who spent more than 20 years in prison before he was exonerated​, received his certificate of innocence.

Judge Joseph McGraw granted the certificate of innocence Monday afternoon, according to a representative from the Exoneration Project.

“I thought that once I got exonerated that there was nothing that would top that,” Horton said. “I learned today that a certificate of innocence tops that.”

Horton was arrested for armed robbery and the murder of Arthur Castaneda on Sept. 25, 1993. He was later sentenced to life in prison for the murder in 1995.

In October, Clifton English testified solely for a robbery and murder connected to Horton’s former charges at a Rockford McDonald’s in 1993. English is currently serving time on another murder in custody of the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Horton was released on bond in February 2017, and he was dismissed on all charges in November 2017.