ELGIN — It could take months before a panel of judges decide whether they want to hear why convicted murderer Jack McCullough wants to appeal his sentence.
McCullough filed an appeal in April at Illinois Second District Appellate Court in Elgin, disputing his involvement with the 1957 murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph, of Sycamore. McCullough was convicted in 2012 and received a life sentence in connection with Ridulph's kidnapping, abduction and murder, making the 55-year-old cold case the oldest to be solved in U.S. history.
McCullough states in his appeal that the evidence at trial was insufficient to prove a guilty verdict, that Kane County Judge James Hallock erred in refusing to allow defense evidence that would have proved an alibi, that some of prosecutors’ evidence shouldn’t have been admitted, and that the convictions for kidnapping and abduction charges violate the one-act, one-crime rule.
Prosecutors filed a response to McCullough's appeal Aug. 1, arguing "a criminal conviction will not be set aside unless the evidence was so improbable or unsatisfactory that there exists a reasonable doubt of the defendant's guilt." This doesn't apply in McCullough's case, prosecutors argue.
At this point, a three-judge panel has yet to be assigned to the case, which could take a month, said Second District Appellate Court Deputy Clerk Mary Cariello. Once the case is assigned, the judges review the evidence, then decide whether to hear an oral argument, which could take until the beginning of November, Cariello said.