CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Illinois Appellate Court has overturned the conviction of Mario Casciaro for the 2002 murder of 17-year-old Brian Carrick, one of the most controversial murder cases ever in McHenry County.
The 2nd District Appellate Court ruled that prosecutors failed to prove Casciaro's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Casciaro, 32, was tried twice before prosecutors won a conviction based on the rarely used charge of first-degree murder by intimidation.
Prosecutors argued that Casciaro coerced another man, Shane Lamb, to confront Carrick over a drug debt.
Lamb was granted full immunity for testifying against Casciaro.
He later recanted his testimony.
The case was also unusual because Carrick's body never was found.
The appeals court ruling paves the way for Casciaro to be released from prison, though that could be delayed by the fact that McHenry County prosecutor Michael Combs said prosecutors will appeal Thursday's decision to the Illinois Supreme Court.
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