Cleared of murder after 17 years in prison, Alprentiss Nash fatally shot on Near West Side

Chicago Sun-Times Wire

Alprentiss Nash | llinois Department of Corrections

Alprentiss Nash | llinois Department of Corrections

Alprentiss Nash, who was exonerated of a murder charge in 2012 after serving 17 years in prison, was fatally shot Tuesday afternoon on the Near West Side.

Nash, 40, was shot in the chest in the 400 block of South Paulina at 2:20 p.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Nash was taken to Stroger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, authorities said.

Police said a person of interest was being questioned.

Nash was convicted of the murder and robbery of a Chicago man on the South Side in 1995, the Sun-Times previously reported. He was incarcerated from April 30, 1995, to Aug. 30, 2012, when Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez vacated his conviction.

Alprentiss Nash | Facebook

Alprentiss Nash | Facebook

Two years later, on March 14, 2014, Nash filed a nine-count federal lawsuit against Chicago Police for violating his civil rights through wrongful imprisonment.

On April 30, 1995, about 1:45 p.m., three masked men entered the home of Leon Stroud, a known bootlegger, in the 11000 block of Wentworth Avenue and robbed him, according to the suit. One of the masked men fatally shot Stroud in the chest.

One of the robber’s masks was left at the scene, but it was never tested for DNA, fingerprints or other forensic evidence, the lawsuit alleges.

Nash, who was a drug dealer at the time, claims in the suit he had an airtight alibi—he was selling drugs between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., and two different people confirmed he was shopping for clothes between 1-4 p.m.

But a man arrested for the crime, who owed Nash $350, was bullied into identifying Nash as the killer, according to the lawsuit. A Chicago Police officer allegedly told the man he would not be charged and would not go to jail if he named Nash as the shooter.

Seeing an opportunity to quickly resolve a case involving the death of a bootlegger in a poor neighborhood by Nash, a drug dealer from the neighborhood, defendants conspired to frame Nash,” the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit alleges that, although people confirmed Nash was at a clothing store at the time of Stroud’s murder, officers coerced witnesses to identify him out of a lineup.

No physical evidence connected Nash to the crime in any way, but he was sentenced to 80 years in prison, the suit claims.

In 2012, DNA testing on the mask found at the scene exonerated Nash, and Alvarez overturned the conviction.

The lawsuit had not been resolved at the time of Nash’s death, according to court records.

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