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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The effort to free Lamar Johnson, who has spent 26 years behind bars for a murder he says he didn’t commit, has hit another roadblock after the Missouri Supreme Court refused to grant a new trial. The ruling was issued Tuesday.

Johnson was convicted in a 1994 killing. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has said she is duty-bound to correct past wrongs, including what she believes was the wrongful conviction of Johnson.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office argued successfully that Gardner lacks the authority to seek a new trial so many years after the case was adjudicated.