Peoria man granted DNA testing in hopes of clearing his name of murder

By Joe Bennett

August 6, 2013 Updated Aug 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- More than a year after a Peoria man was granted clemency for a 1977 double murder, he is being granted a request for DNA testing in hopes of clearing his name.

Johnny Lee Savory was convicted in 1981 of the stabbing deaths of Connie Cooper and James Robinson.

Savory was 14-years-old at the time of the murders.

He said he was forced to confess and has maintained his innocence ever since.

After spending nearly 30-years in jail, Savory was paroled in 2006 and granted clemency by Governor Quinn in 2011.

Tuesday afternoon Judge Stephen Kouri of the Tenth Judicial Circuit Court of Illinois decided that DNA testing should be allowed, since that is how the investigation would be conducted today.

"I am disappointed in the ruling and will now consider other options, including filing a motion to reconsider," said Peoria County State's Attorney Jerry Brady.

According to the ruling, Savory will pay for the DNA testing of five pieces of physical evidence, including a knife, blood-stained pants and scrapings from under the victims’ fingernails.

Savory hopes the results will clear his name and match with one of 12 million criminal profiles in a federal database.