Man released from prison after 20 years after witnesses recant, judge tosses conviction

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CHICAGO — The mother of a murdered Chicago girl was outraged after charges in her daughter’s killing were dropped.

Matt Sopron, 45, was released from prison Tuesday after more than 20 years. Witnesses testified he ordered a 1995 gang hit that mistakenly took the lives of two 13-year-old girls—Carrie Hovel and Helena Martin. Those witnesses have since recanted, and a judge tossed out his murder conviction.

Hovel’s mother, Donna Holinger, said the justice system has failed them.

Relatives said the holidays are always the toughest, especially this year.

Last Friday marked the 23rd anniversary of the girls’ deaths.

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