According to an Associated Press news story published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, on Tuesday the Midwest Innocence Project asked a Missouri appellate court to exonerate their client Rodney Lincoln of murder based on new evidence and the recanted testimony of a key eyewitness.
In 1982, 35-year-old Joanne Tate was killed in her home; her two young daughters were assaulted. According to the news story, one of the girls implicated Lincoln in the crime. Lincoln, now 72, was convicted of manslaughter and two counts of first-degree assault and sentenced to life in prison. Over the course of the past 34 years, however, new evidence pointing to Lincoln’s innocence has surfaced.
According to attorneys at the Midwest Innocence Project, the girl who implicated Lincoln has since recanted her testimony, saying that she was wrong. Also, “testimony at Lincoln’s trial indicated a hair found at the scene belonged to him, but genetic testing later disproved that,” reports the Associated Press.
“We feel confident the court will see what we all know,” Tricia Bushnell, the Midwest Innocence Project’s legal director, told the Associated Press. “We can only believe the (appellate) court will do the right thing.”