Kentucky Woman Likely to be Exonerated
A woman who has been granted a retrial by a Kentucky appeals court after someone else confessed they had committed the crime is likely to be exonerated, according to the Louisville
. Susan Jean King was convicted of manslaughter in 2008 for the 1998 slaying of Kyle Bredeen and sentenced to 10 years in prison. While maintaining her innocence, King pled guilty to the manslaughter charge rather than face a trial for murder and potential life sentence.
Kentucky Innocence Project
began investigating the case after doubts were raised about King’s ability to throw Bredeen’s body off of a bridge and into the Kentucky River, where it was found. King has only one leg and weighed just 97 pounds at the time of the crime. In May 2012, Richard Jarrell Jr. confessed to Louisville narcotics Detective Barron Morgan that he had killed Bredeen and two other people. Morgan sent Jarrell’s statement to the Kentucky Innocence Project.
Detective Morgan hailed the appeals court ruling, saying it vindicated both him and King, according to the
. Morgan won a $450,000 settlement from the city of Louisville for being demoted in violation of the state’s whistleblower act after he helped King by sending Jarrell’s statement to the Kentucky Innocence Project.
A circuit court judge had earlier rejected King’s request for a retrial, saying that he could not determine if Jarrell’s confession were true. In granting King’s retrial, the Court of Appeals noted the detailed and accurate nature of Jarrell’s confession and held that if the confession had been available when the case was first in court, it likely would have changed the result.
King spent more than six years in prison before serving out her sentence in 2012.
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