Willie Randolph charged in Dixmoor murder case

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Charges have been filed against Willie Randolph almost 25 years after a young girl was raped and murdered while waiting for the school bus. (WLS)

Charges have been filed against Willie Randolph almost 25 years after a young girl was raped and murdered while waiting for the school bus.

The charges come after DNA evidence cleared five other men originally convicted of the crime. Those men are now known as the Dixmoor Five. One of them was in court Thursday for the proceedings.

Cateresa Matthews was kidnapped from a bus stop, taken to an area near I-57 and shot in the mouth.

Theresa Matthews, a suburban mother that was torn apart by the murder of her only child returned to court to see the man now charged with her daughter's murder in Dixmoor, Ill., in 1991.

"It's been hard, but I have to fight for my child and I am going to fight," Matthews said.

On Friday, Randolph was charged with the murder. He's a convicted felon currently serving time for violating conditions of a previous conviction. He was denied bail on Thursday.

In 1991, Catheresa Matthews was 14 years old and was visiting her grandmother in Dixmoor when she was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered.

In 2011, DNA from the scene matched Randolph.

"I just want justice to be served so she can rest in peace," her mother said.

The Cook County Sheriff was brought in to re-open the investigation. Now with DNA and new testimony from witnesses, Cook County prosecutors brought charges against Randolph.

"It was only recently with advances in DNA technology that it was clear that it was Randolph," Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff, said.

In the original botched investigation, five innocent young men, known as the Dixmoor Five, were convicted and sent to prison. Robert Taylor was 14 when they arrested him.

"My life is still messed up. You can't erase all that time I did. We were just kids," Taylor said.

"From day one, I think the case had some issues, but I got it resolved now," Ron Burge, former Dixmoor Police Chief, said.

The outgoing Cook County State's Attorney, Anita Alvarez, offered sympathy to Matthews for the difficult journey toward justice. Alvarez also issued an apology to the Dixmoor Five and said, "Our system did not protect them; in fact it victimized them in a way that can never possibly be repaired."

Taylor said that nothing will give them those years back.
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