ST. LOUIS – Ten days after being sworn in as the city’s new top prosecutor, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Gabe Gore is withdrawing his predecessor’s motion to vacate a decades-old murder conviction.
Days before resigning her office, Kim Gardner asked the St. Louis Circuit Court to overturn Christopher Dunn’s conviction.
Dunn has spent 33 years in prison for the 1990 shooting death of Ricco Rogers over a gang affiliation. He has maintained his innocence in the murder.
In her filing in mid-May, Gardner said there was clear and convincing evidence showing Dunn had been wrongly convicted. His trial hinged on the testimony of two boys, who have since recanted their statements, saying they were coerced by police and prosecutors to lie on the stand.
However, new Circuit Attorney Gore, who is serving the remainder of Gardner’s term, said he wants to conduct a full review of Dunn’s case before moving forward on anything.
“We will conduct a full review of Mr. Dunn’s case and proceed as the law and facts dictate. As circuit attorney, that is my responsibility,” Gore said in a statement.
Earlier in the year, Gardner succeeded in getting the courts to re-examine and ultimately vacate Lamar Johnson’s murder conviction. Johnson had been behind bars for 28 years for the 1994 killing of Marcus Boyd.
During a hearing to waive the conviction last December, the lead detective in the case said that there was no physical proof that Johnson was involved in the murder. In addition, the only person to identify Johnson as the murderer recanted his testimony.
Two other men came forward since Johnson’s conviction and admitted killing Boyd.