Conviction thrown out in killing of off-duty correctional officer

- A man serving time for murdering an off-duty Cook County correctional officer was expected to be released from prison after prosecutors threw out his conviction Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

Bernard Mims’ case was dismissed before Judge Nicholas Ford, according to court records.

He had been sentenced to 90 years in prison for murder and attempted murder in 2006.

Mims’ lawyer Kathleen Zellner said Mims couldn’t have been Dwayne “Bear” Baker’s killer since he had been recuperating from a shooting 10 days before the incident, according to reports.

The state’s attorney’s office said it decided the drop charges after it was reviewed by the Conviction Integrity Unit.

On Thursday the office acknowledged Mims’ medical condition at the time Baker was murdered in 2000.

“We conducted a lengthy investigation into this case and considered all existing evidence, and based upon that review we made the determination to dismiss the case in the interests of justice,” the state’s attorney’s office said in an statement emailed to the Sun-Times.

“The medical condition of Mims at the time that the crime was committed was certainly a factor that was considered and which contributed to this decision. In addition, there was a troubling issue involving the dual representation of Mr. Mims and an alternate suspect in the crime by the same attorney, Dan Franks. That was also a contributing factor in the analysis that led to today’s dismissal.”

At the time of his 2004 arrest, authorities said Mims, a suspected Black Disciples gang member, was targeting rival Gangster Disciples but mistakenly shot Baker after leaping out of a yellow sport-utility vehicle near the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments at 54 E. 47th, police said.

Mims, now 36, was charged after he was identified by witnesses.

Baker, 33, a five-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was working private security for the apartments in the historic Rosenwald building when he was shot.

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