Son’s conviction in Missouri woman’s 1998 death questioned

Missouri

This June 24, 2021 photo provided by Paul Crane shows Michael Politte at the Jefferson City Correctional Center in Jefferson City, Mo. Two groups that work to overturn wrongful convictions argued in a petition filed Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, that Politte, who has spent more than 20 years in prison for killing his mother, did not commit the crime. Politte was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2002. He was 14 when his mother, Rita Politte, was burned to death inside their home in Hopewell, eastern Missouri, in 1998. (Paul Crane via AP)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Two groups that work to overturn wrongful convictions are asking the Missouri Court of Appeals to reconsider the conviction of a Missouri man who has served more than 22 years in prison for the death of his mother.

Michael Politte was 14 when his mother was burned to death inside their mobile home in Hopewell on Dec. 5, 1998. He spent nearly four years in juvenile detention before being convicted as an adult in 2002 of second-degree murder.

In a petition filed Monday, The Midwest Innocence Project and the MacArthur Justice Center argue Politte was convicted based on debunked science and a biased investigation.

The Missouri Attorney General’s office hasn’t responded to a request for comment.

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