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A 48-year-old Evanston man was charged today with murdering an 81-year-old Rogers Park woman a quarter century ago.

The Chicago Tribune quotes an official with the state’s attorney’s office as saying Prentice Phillips was charged based on DNA evidence in the beating death of Margaret Blair.

She’d been beaten, robbed and sexually assaulted in her basement apartment in the 7200 block of North Sheridan Road and died four days later at St. Francis Hospital.

A cold-case grant funded testing the DNA evidence this year.

Phillips has been in the Cook County Jail since August on charges he tried to sexually assault a disabled woman in Evanston last summer.

Original story.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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