An article published today in the
out of Washington state reports that Innocence Project Northwest’s client Donovan Allen has been granted new DNA testing of evidence in his case. Allen was convicted in 2002 of murdering his mother, Sharon Cox, two years prior and has been serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
reports that Allen confessed to killing his mother, but only after 14 hours of interrogation by Longview police. He later recanted the confession. According to the
Allen’s first trial ended in a hung jury and his second trial was almost declared a mistrial but ultimately resulted in a guilty verdict after the prosecution’s previously inadmissible evidence was allowed.
There are a couple of incongruities that could point to Allen’s innocence in this case. Wrongful convictions often involve false confession, and Allen’s recantation indicates that his confession was likely coerced or forced. Additionally, no blood was found on the clothes Allen was wearing when police interviewed him on the day his mother was killed. The
writes that at Allen’s trial, the prosecution said there were no witnesses who could prove that he hadn’t changed his clothes, but Allen’s attorneys say that his roommate testified that she never saw Allen wearing other clothes that day.
In 2000, hairs found in Cox’s hand were tested for DNA and ruled out Allen as the source but did not point to anyone else, writes the
The Innocence Project Northwest believes that there is a possibility that new genetic testing techniques could prove Allen’s innocence. According to the
some items that will be re-tested for DNA are fingernail clippings and scrapings, items found at Cox’s home, and the hairs that were tested in 2000.