After serving about half of his prison sentence, a convicted cop-killer could go free.
Ted Bacino killed a Winnebago County Sheriff's deputy in 1974. He was supposed to spend the next 75 years in prison, but the law at the time may be on this felon's side and he could walk out of prison by next week and back in the Rockford community.
"That particular time, sentences of that nature were served at 50 percent rate," says Joe Bruscato, Winnebago County State's Attorney.
In 1974, Bacino robbed a Poplar Grove bank. He ran from police and was confronted at a truck stop in Machesney Park by Winnebago County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Mayborne. Bacino shot and killed the 28-year-old deputy. Bacino was sentenced to 75 to 100 years in prison for the murder. He's only been locked up for 41 years and could be out on March 4th.
"He has served his full sentence in accordance with the law and that is why he is being released," says Bruscato.
Bacino was sentenced under an old system that allows people convicted of murder in Illinois to get time off for good behavior. The truth in sentencing laws no longer allows that.
"It is impossible for someone convicted of what he was convicted of and have that condition of earlier time out," says Tom Shaer, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections.
But what could stop Bacino's parole is electronic monitoring. Because he was convicted of murder, he has to submit to the monitoring for 3 years. Plus, the state has to approve of where he lives. Most places like a homeless shelter or nursing home would not qualify.
"So far there has been no approval of a parole site for Bacino. He was refusing parole up until recently. Now he's talking about possible site but nothing has been presented to the Department of Corrections that would meet with our approval," says Shaer.
Bacino would not be the first person who has to stay in prison even though he has legally hit the time to be paroled. The state's corrections department says about 1,200 inmates are currently still incarcerated because they did not find a suitable place to live to be electronically monitored.
Bacino is 79-years-old. He also has to sign his parole agreement to be released. Until about a week ago, he had said he would not.