Monday, February 20, 2012

Lawyers add to evidence supporting innocence of convicted killer George Allen Jr.

this document and take appropriate action on behalf of the State of Missouri on this matter."

The Attorney General's Office declined to comment.

Police picked up Allen in the neighborhood more than a month after the crime because he resembled a suspect, and questioned him even after determining he wasn't the man they sought. Allen confessed but later said the confession was coached.

Jurors at Allen's first trial voted 10-2 for acquittal. He was found guilty by a different jury three months later and might have been sentenced to death had a juror not needed to leave during the trial's penalty phase.

Allen has already exhausted his appeals.

But his lawyers argue that as more evidence surfaces, the case for his innocence becomes even more convincing. Included is lab material indicating that semen found on a robe the victim wore when she was attacked did not match Allen or any of her known sex partners.

The attorneys say lab evidence proving that Allen could not have been the source of semen found at the scene should have been provided to his original lawyers.

A recent interview with former St. Louis police Detective Ronald Scaggs casts Allen's interrogation into doubt, they say, raising a series of questions about the interview techniques and the reliability of the purported confession.

Scaggs is quoted as saying that police were "iffy" about Allen's conviction. He said Allen was asked leading questions and shown crime scene photos that could have affected detectives' ability to test Allen's knowledge of the crime.

Scaggs, they say, also said that Allen drew a diagram of the crime scene that was inaccurate - and that was never turned over to defense lawyers.

"Hopefully the new evidence submitted today will persuade the Attorney General's Office to move quickly to release Mr. Allen," said Barry Scheck, co-director of the Innocence Project, in a prepared statement.

Daniel Harvath, a lawyer with the Bryan Cave firm in St. Louis, who is working for Allen's release, wrote in a statement, "This case was built on a faulty foundation that has completely crumbled."

By Robert Patrick,, 314-621-5154


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