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$9M settlement completed in case of man exonerated of murder

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) _ A deal to settle a lawsuit by a man who spent 15 years in prison for a murder he was later exonerated of has cleared its last hurdle.

Libertyville Village Administrator Chris Clark told the town’s board Tuesday its insurance cooperative has agreed to a $9 million settlement with Jason Strong.

Strong, who now lives in Tennessee, was convicted in 2000 of killing Carpentersville resident Mary Kate Sunderlin. Her badly beaten body was found in a forest preserve near North Chicago in 1999.

Lake County prosecutors dropped charges in 2015, citing evidence contradicting trial testimony.

Strong gets $6 million from the city of Waukegan. The remaining $3 million will be divided between nine other agencies that were part of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, which investigated the killing.