The judge overturned Helmig's conviction because jurors were given material during their deliberations that wasn't introduced in trial as evidence.
Helmig's case was also profiled in a documentary. Students at Illinois State University made the film, which alleges the trial featured a shoddy defense, selective evidence, and an opportunistic prosecutor.
That prosecutor was Kenny Hulshof, now a Republican member of Congress. Hulshof used Helmig as an example of his tough-on-crime credentials during his congressional campaign, but he rejects any link between the trial and the campaign.
U.S. Magistrate Judge David Noce also ordered Helmig released from Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron.
Prosecutors could choose to try Helmig again.© Copyright 2017, St. Louis Public Radio