JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) - Lawyers appeared Friday before a Circuit Court Judge in Jefferson City to urge the court to set aside the conviction of George Allen, Jr. Supporters of Allen, who has served 30 years for a rape and murder, say that DNA and other evidence proves he didn't commit the crime.
Allen was arrested and convicted for the 1982 rape and murder of St. Louis court reporter Mary Bell in her LaSalle Park home. Allen was stopped by police about a month after the crime happened because he resembled a suspect. They determined he wasn't the man they were after but questioned him anyway. Allen did confess, but later said the confession was coached.
Now Innocence Project director Barry Scheck says after spending 16 years and more than $100,000 on DNA research fees they finally have their day in a Cole County courtroom.
"This homicide detective Herb Riley found George and there's some dispute about what happened, but there is certainly he showed him some pictures of the crime scene and everything else. According to George he made threats and suggestions and told him there were finger prints there. Given all the false confessions we've now seen in this DNA era its evident this is not the way you interrogate someone." said Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project.
According to the Innocence Project, new DNA, fingerprints along with a false confession and discovery of suppressed evidence will help make their case. George Allen, who`s battled mental illness behind bars, is now 56 years old. He's 30 years into his 95 year sentence.
FOX 2 contacted Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s office regarding Friday’s proceedings and we`re told they have no comment on this ongoing case. In the meantime this team of attorneys will continue to work every angle they can to get George Allen released from prison. A day his mother can`t wait to see.
"We know he's gonna get out we know it will happen" said Allen’s mother Lonzetta Taylor.
Allen is currently being held the Jefferson City Correctional Center. Judge Dan Green, who is the first judge to see the evidence, is presiding over the case. He is suggesting that new fingerprint evidence get a second look by the Missouri Highway Patrol.
Website: The Innocence Project