ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- On Thursday, St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office decided not to retry a University City man for the rape and murder convictions that were overturned last week. Later that day, the Missouri Attorney General’s Office announced it will appeal the court decision overturning the conviction.
Cole County Judge Daniel Green overturned the capital murder, rape, sodomy and first degree burglary charges against 56-year old George Allen, Junior on November 2, 2012, after determining evidence beneficial to him was withheld. Allen was convicted of the 1982 rape and murder of Mary Bell, whose body was found inside her LaSalle Park home.
At the time of the crime DNA testing was not available. Allen was picked up by police because he looked like another suspect they wanted to talk to. After questioning by detectives, he confessed. But there was no physical evidence like fingerprints presented to the jury that linked Allen to the crime.
The Attorney General wants a three-judge appeals court to review the judge’s decision to toss out Allen’s conviction.
On Friday, Congressman William Lacy Clay (D-MO) sent an urgent letter to Koster about the decision to appeal the release of Allen. The letter says in part:
“I am deeply troubled by your decision to appeal Cole County Circuit Judge Daniel Green’s decision to void the convictions of George Allen. As you know, Mr. Allen is a mentally ill black man who was wrongfully convicted in 1982 and has spent the last thirty years incarcerated for crimes of which he is actually innocent.
I am astonished by your decision to appeal and to ask for a stay of Mr. Allen’s release.
There is overwhelming evidence of Mr. Allen’s actual innocence and that exculpatory evidence of actual innocence was suppressed at his trial, as well as a clearly false confession taken from a mentally disturbed person.
There has been a long and thorough court review of the considerable and irrefutable evidence that Mr. Allen is innocent, including St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce’s decision not to re-file charges against Mr. Allen.
I agree with Judge Green’s decision that he should be released immediately.
I ask you in the strongest possible terms to drop your appeal and allow this innocent man to return to his family after three long decades.”