The Lansing, Michigan, district attorney said yesterday he would reopen the case of Claude McCollum, a man who says he was wrongfully convicted of killing a 60-year-old woman in 2005. Biological evidence from an unknown male – not McCollum – was collected from under the victim’s fingernails in the case for which McCollum was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. McCollum was convicted, in part, because he told police during an interrogation how he might have committed the crime while sleepwalking. In a number of DNA exoneration cases, defendants were convicted partly based on “dream statements” or hypothetical accounts of how they might have committed the crime.
Now, McCollum’s attorney is requesting that the DNA evidence from his case be compared with the sample of another man, who was arrested in late August and has been charged with committing a separate murder and a rape. Police have said this man is connected to at least six other murders from 2004 to 2007. The Lansing district attorney said investigators would reconsider evidence in McCollum’s case.
"Whether or not I end up believing this information or not, in order for (McCollum) to have a fair hearing, the matter needs to be investigated and brought to the attention of the Court of Appeals," (County Prosecutor Stuart Dunning said) “If somebody got wrongfully convicted, I want to be the first person to correct that."
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. (Lansing State Journal, 09/12/07)