CHESTER, Illinois -- A man who spent 24 years behind bars for a deadly Chicago fire he claims he didn’t set says he has a lot of uncertainty now that he’s a free man.
Forty-six-year-old James Kluppelberg was released Thursday afternoon from the southern Illinois’ Menard Correctional Center, where he was serving a life sentence. That came a day after prosecutors dropped their case against him.
Kluppenberg tells the Chicago Tribune he’s “really lost.”
Much has changed for him since he was convicted in the 1984 fire that killed a mother and her five children.
He says his wife has divorced him, his mother died of cancer, he’s mostly lost touch with his three children and all the cash he’s carrying is $14.17 left from his prison account.