Two inmates to be released after murder charges dropped

CHICAGO (AP) — Prosecutors in Chicago have dropped charges against two men imprisoned more than 20 years for a 1993 murder after misconduct allegations arose.

Jose Montanez and Armando Serrano are both expected to be released Wednesday from Illinois prisons. Relatives of both men embraced Wednesday morning outside a packed Cook County courtroom after a judge ruled in the case. Prosecutors’ decision came after an appeals court ruling last month found “profoundly alarming acts of misconduct” led to the men’s convictions in the death of Rodrigo Vargas.

The men were convicted on testimony from a man who later recanted. They both have long said they are innocent.

The 43-year-old Serrano is scheduled to be released from a Dixon prison and the 48-year-old Montanez from a Danville prison.