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Conviction overturned after man spends 20 years in prison

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 | 9:26 a.m. CDT; updated 9:53 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, May 5, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — An Illinois man who spent nearly 20 years in a Missouri prison after being convicted of kidnapping a drug dealer is free and won't be retried.

Gary Engel was released from Missouri State Penitentiary on Friday and flown to Chicago to be with family and friends. His attorney, Kent Gipson, said Monday that Engel is staying with a friend and is doing as well as can be expected.

Engel was convicted in 1991 in northwest Missouri's Clay County of kidnapping and armed criminal action and sentenced to 90 years in prison.

The Missouri Supreme Court overturned the conviction in February and ordered the state to release Engel within 60 days.

The court said evidence at Engel's trial came from a drug dealer who committed perjury and who was paid for his testimony by investigators.


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