Thursday, May 6, 2021

Lawyers say Arkansas man executed four years ago was innocent

Four years after the execution of an Arkansas death row inmate, new information shows the DNA of another man found on the murder weapon, reported Fox 16 News in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Ledell Lee was executed in 2017 for the murder of his Jacksonville neighbor, Debra Reese, in 1993, and up until his execution, he maintained his innocence.

The Innocence Project and ACLU filed a complaint last year on behalf of Lee’s sister, Patricia Young, asking for the city of Jacksonville to release evidence under the Freedom of Information Act.

“Lee always insisted that he did not commit this crime and that he was innocent. We just want to know the truth,” Young said in a press conference last year.

The Jacksonville City Council voted to release the evidence in Lee’s case in January of 2020. The murder weapon, a bloody wooden billy club, and a bloody t-shirt were among the evidence tested for DNA.

According to a report from the Innocence Project and ACLU, DNA from an unknown man who is not Ledell Lee was found on the handle of the club. That same DNA was also found on the bloody white shirt wrapped around the club.

Five fingerprints taken from the crime scene were also tested. None belonged to Lee.

The unknown male profile has been entered into the national DNA database, but there has been no match.

The case remains open due to the possibility of a future database ‘hit’ to the unknown male DNA or unknown fingerprints from the crime scene.

FOX 16 News did reach out to the city of Jacksonville and did not hear back.

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