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Man who killed Illinois trooper gets early prison release

February 15, 2022 GMT

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — A 71-year-old man convicted in an Illinois state trooper’s 1976 killing has been released from prison after the state’s Prisoner Review Board granted him early release.

Aaron Hyche, who spent more than 45 years behind bars for Trooper Layton Davis’ murder, was released Friday from the Dixon Correctional Center, state correction records show, the Herald & Review reported.

He had been serving a sentence of 150 to 300 years in prison for fatally shooting Davis in March 1976 after the officer pulled him over for speeding on Interstate 57 a few miles north of Effingham.

According to an online petition that advocated for Hyche’s release, he has “numerous critical illnesses,” including end-stage Parkinson’s Disease, prostate cancer and brain bleeds.

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James E. Taylor, who was in the car with with Hyche, was also convicted in Davis’ killing. The Prison Review Board voted last August to grant Taylor parole while denying Hyche.

But Hyche appears to be the first beneficiary of a new state law that took effect Jan. 1 and granted the Prison Review Board additional authority to consider early release for prisoners who are terminally ill or medically incapacitated.

Kahalah Clay, the review board’s chief legal counsel, told the Effingham Daily News on Friday that the law, signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last August, was the reason for Hyche’s release.