Chicago Man Free After Arson and Murder Charges Vacated

Jennifer Keiper, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) – Adam Gray was 14 years old when he was convicted of setting an apartment fire on Chicago’s Southwest Side that killed two elderly people. In 1993, he was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

“I had to make peace with the idea that I was going to die in prison for something that I didn’t do,” said Gray.

Gray said his confession was coerced and he gave it after being questioned for seven hours but it was something else that led to his prison release, earlier this week.

Cook County prosecutors decided to dismiss the charges against him saying fire science advancements raised too many questions about his conviction.

Gray’s lawyer, Terri Mascherin of Jenner & Block, spent recent years fighting his convictions based on the unreliability of the scientific testimony at his trial. “I think that this is a classic case of how the authorities can fall into tunnel vision. They had a case here, where they’re investigating a fire – which, it turns out, was probably an unfortunate accident,” said Mascherin.

Gray says he’s still having difficulty believing he’s a free man after spending more than half his life in prison.

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