Judge overturns 1995 homicide convictions, orders new trial - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Judge overturns 1995 homicide convictions, orders new trial

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David Wayne Nelson David Wayne Nelson

By AMY BETH HANSON
Associated Press

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A Montana judge has vacated the deliberate homicide convictions of two men in the 1995 death of a Helena woman and ordered new trials.

District Judge Kathy Seeley ruled Friday that DNA evidence that connects convicted murderer David Nelson to the killing of Donna Meagher far exceeds the standard of a "reasonable probability of a different outcome at trial."

She heard arguments on March 9 on motions filed by the Montana Innocence Project on behalf of Freddie Joe Lawrence and Paul Jenkins.

Innocence project founder and president Dan Weinberg says the he's happy the court "recognized the obvious injustice that occurred in this case" and said the organization would continue to work with the men until they are freed.

The state will now have to decide if it will re-try the men.

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