2 men get new trials in Decatur beating death

DECATUR — A state appellate court has ordered new trials for two men convicted in the 2009 stomping death of a 61-year-old man in Decatur.

The Herald and Review reports the 4th District appellate court made the rulings. Authorities have said a group of Decatur teens killed 61-year-old Jerry Newingham as he rode a bicycle. Two of them, 20-year-old Elliott T. Murphy and 19-year-old Deonta Johnson, were convicted of murder and attempted murder. They were sentenced to long prison terms.

The appellate court ruled Murphy gets a new trial because of a conflict of interest involving his lawyer. The court says Johnson's judge transferred him from juvenile to adult court without proper consideration.

Murphy's case will go to retrial. Johnson's case is pending review by the Illinois Supreme Court.