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updated: 3/20/2013 9:03 AM

New trials ordered in slaying of 8-year-old boy

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Associated Press

ROCKFORD -- A judge has ordered new trials for three men serving prison time for the killing of an 8-year-old Rockford boy.

Winnebago County Chief Judge Joseph McGraw made the ruling Tuesday on the basis of jailhouse recordings of a key witness that appear to call into question the truth of his court testimony.

Anthony Ross, TyJuan Anderson and Lumont Johnson were convicted of murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison. The three have already served roughly 11 years.

DeMarcus Hanson was shot in the head in 2002 as he slept at his grandmother's house.

Prosecutors said at the time his uncle, Alex Dowthard, was the intended target of what was a gang-related shooting.

The Rockford Register Start reports ( ) that recorded conversations suggest he may not have witnessed what happened.

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