Peoria man seeking new trial for 1994 conviction

By WEEK Producer

January 15, 2013 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:21 AM CDT

ILLINOIS -- The Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday for a new trial for Peorian Christopher Coleman, convicted of aggravated criminal sexual assault and armed robbery in 1994.

Coleman, citing new witnesses, appealed his conviction four years ago but was turned down at the Circuit Court and the Appellate Court levels.

Tuesday, an attorney from the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University asked the Illinois Supreme Court to consider ordering a new trial.

"There are five new witnesses who have come forward," said Coleman's attorney Karen Daniel, "or have been compelled to come forward since the trial..were not available at trial...and each of these witnesses was present at the crime scene because each one of these witnesses were participating in the crime, and each one says Christopher Coleman was not there"

The prosecutor argues that Judge Michael Brandt was correct in 2009 when he rejected Coleman's request for a new trial.

Brandt had stated that the new witnesses in the case would not have changed the jury's verdict in the original trial.

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