From March 9: ROCKFORD (WIFR) --
ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- 23 News has learned from the Department of Corrections that Antwan Maxey, the man accused in the first murder of 2011, will get out of prison in November.
It was the first murder of 2011: Charles Spivey was shot and killed outside a house party on Sherman Ave. Eight months later police arrested 27-year-old Antwan Maxey.
When he first got arrested he demanded trial. Maxey would come to the Winnebago County Jail when his case was up in court, but most of the time he was in prison because he was being held on a parole violation.
By January there still hadn't been a trial. Despite prosecutors' protests, a judge let Maxey off on murder charges. The speedy trial rules say defendants must get a trial within 120 days of being booked in jail unless the case is continued. This case was continued for weeks at a time.
When asked how a suspected murderer could go free, Winn. Co. State's Attorney Joe Bruscato said, “The application of any area of law is often complicated and that's why we have courts of law and that's why we have appeal courts."
Winn. Co. Public Defender Nick Zimmerman said, "As the judge said when he made his ruling justice delayed is justice denied."
The victim's family says they haven't gotten justice and are tired of showing up to court over and over again.
The victim’s sister Alexandria Spivey said, "For someone that is up for a murder that could have been the one that actually killed him? It’s not fair for them to get off just because of just because it's been 120 days."
Zimmerman said,"There's always two sides to every case and there's always going to be people who are happy with the decision and there are going to be people who are unhappy. Not like the fact, but it's the law."
Prosecutors are appealing the case. They don't think the judge calculated the time properly and argue it hadn't been 120 days. However, the appeal could take a long time.
Situations like this don’t happen often, at least not in Winnebago County. It's especially strange because the nature of the charge was murder.