Thursday, November 3, 2011

PA Supreme Court Will Not Hear Appeal Based on DNA

The Harrisburg Patriot News reported that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will not hear the appeal of  Emerson McCauley Jr.,a Centre County man, who has served 22 years in prison for murder. The high court issued an order this week saying it won't hear appeal even though there is new DNA evidence.  The state Superior Court denied McCauley's appeal in 2010.

His attorney, William Costopoulos, had argued that McCauley's second-degree murder conviction in the 1989 slaying of 21-year-old Devera Frink was based on a hair found on Frink's calf that does not match McCauley.

Frink was abducted June 26, 1977, as she was hitchhiking back to her apartment near State College and found tossed over a bridge on Route 322 in Juniata County, reported the Patriot News.

At the trial, a chemist testified the hair resembled characteristics of McCauley's chest hairs, reported the Patriot News. But DNA testing ruled him out as the person who left that hair and semen.

Prosecutors for the state Attorney General's office have argued that shouldn't warrant a new trial since McCauley, at one time, told police he was present during the killing. He has since said it was a false confession.

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