Westchester man's 20-year sentence for Riverside burglary overturned on Tuesday

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 2:23 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013 5:27 p.m. CDT
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The 20-year prison sentence of Martin J. Canonico, 50, of the 10600 block of Essex Street, Westchester, for a 2010 residential burglary in Riverside was overturned by the Illinois Appellate Court on Tuesday.

A Westchester man sentenced to 20 years in prison for a 2010 residential burglary in Riverside had his conviction overturned Tuesday by the Illinois Appellate Court, which ruled that the judge made an error in her instructions to jurors before they deliberated. 

On Sept. 9, 2010, police found Martin J. Canonico, 50, of the 10600 block of Essex Street, Westchester, in a backyard in the 300 block of Addison Road while searching for a person who broke into a residence in the 200 block of Addison. A woman at the residence at the time of the burglary had her leg injured during the incident and was treated at a local hospital. 

A jury convicted Canonico of residential burglary, and he was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Canonico, who had 15 prior convictions including residential burglary, theft and assault, is still in custody at the Illinois Department of Corrections. 

“It is disappointing that the Appellate Court would remand this case back before trial,” Riverside Police Chief Tom Weitzel said in a news release on Wednesday. “My officers spent three days collecting evidence, taking statements and preparing the case for bond hearing. Additionally, I had seven officers called to testify at the trial. It is apparent that now the state will have to re-try Mr. Canonico based on the Appellate Court's decision."

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