Families react after three men are given another chance at trial - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Families react after three men, once guilty, are given another chance at trial

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Tyjuan Anderson's family members Tyjuan Anderson's family members
Lumont Johnson's family members Lumont Johnson's family members

After Tuesday, the only certainty in a case involving a dead 8 year-old boy is that the victim, Demarcus Hanson is no longer alive, but Lumont Johnson, Anthony Ross and Tyjuan Anderson's families celebrate a second chance at what they call innocence. Relatives say their new trial verdict is about 11 years overdue. Even after juries said the three men were guilty their families never gave up hope.

"I know he was framed." -says Lumont Johnson's mother Angela Johnson when asked about her son.

Tyjuan Anderson's uncle Samuel agrees, "I feel that justice is finally being served."

The verdict is only to begin a new trial, but it's a good sign to Anderson's flesh and blood.

"It should've been like that many years ago because the evidence already proved in front of the judge that they did not do this crime and it takes so long for them to come up to the determination of what it is now today." -says Samuel Anderson.

He says all three men missed out on chances to become contributing members of society by spending more than a decade behind bars.

"The system is supposed to be based on facts and the facts have been out there for many years." -he adds.

While this is a positive moment for the three men accused and their families, it's not over yet.

"We still have a few more steps to go, but I'm encouraged that the Lord will handle everything alright." -says Tyjuan Anderson's mother Jackie Henry.

"Right now they're still behind bars, so we are happy that that's the decision, now it's just a matter of them to come home to their families." -says Tyjuan Anderson's sister Shirella Anderson.

After Tuesday's decision, prosecutors and defense attorneys have options. Both sides are back in court April 2nd.

Demarcus Hanson's family was in court Tuesday, but they did not want to comment. On the phone, Hanson's grandmother said this has been a tough decade for their family and they're just trying to move on.

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