ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois man who spent 23 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit has gone to court to obtain a certificate of innocence.

John Horton of Rockford was sent to prison for the September 1993 armed robbery and slaying of Arthur Castaneda at a Rockford fast food restaurant. Clifton English Jr. has confessed to committing the crime.

The Register Star in Rockford reports defense attorney Josh Tepfer of the Exoneration Project at the University of Chicago says he is confident anyone who looks at the evidence will conclude Horton is innocent.

Horton was 17 when he was arrested. He was convicted in 1995 and sentenced to life in prison. He was released on bond on Feb. 10. The charges against him were dismissed Oct. 4.

A status hearing on Horton's request is scheduled for Dec. 19 in Winnebago County Circuit Court.

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Information from: Rockford Register Star, http://www.rrstar.com