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Shoddy DNA work delays sentencing

A Spokane County judge on Wednesday postponed the sentencing of a man convicted almost exclusively on DNA evidence after defense attorneys learned that tests identifying their client as the killer had been done by a crime lab technician who later was fired.

The technician’s work was so deficient that a co-worker described it as a “nightmare,” and an internal report said it could “not be trusted.”

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

July 27: Convicted killer to get new trial

Convicted killer will get new trial

A judge on Thursday granted the request for a new trial of a man convicted four years ago of the 2007 beating death of an adult bookstore owner in Spokane following the conviction two weeks ago of another man for the same crime.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Wrong man may be jailed for murder

The lead investigator in the 2007 beating death of an adult bookstore owner in Spokane now is questioning whether the wrong man was convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Spokane Police Detective Tim Madsen, in new court documents, acknowledges that 41-year-old Jeramie R. Davis may have been telling the truth when he claimed that 74-year-old John G. “Jack” Allen already was dead on the floor when he arrived at the adult bookstore and made a series of return trips throughout the night to burglarize it.

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

July 11: Trial opens for second suspect in same murder

March 11: DNA evidence in 2007 murder points to new man

Aug. 5: New suspect charged in porn shop owner's murder

July 28: Convicted killer hopes for freedom

July 26: DNA reveals new suspect in 2007 slaying

DNA evidence tangles ‘07 murder case

Jerry Allen and his family are facing the rekindled pain of losing their uncle, John G. “Jack” Allen Jr., who was killed in 2007 at the age of 74. Jerry Allen did odd jobs for his uncle, who helped raise him. (SR/Colin Mulvany)

Water cascades from the roof in heavy droplets inside the abandoned brick-and-glass building on Sprague Avenue where an adult bookstore owner was bludgeoned to death nearly five years ago.

 Just as the building crumbles, cracks also have begun forming in the case against the admitted thief who was sent to prison for the brutal murder of 74-year-old John G. “Jack” Allen Jr.

DNA evidence on the murder weapon has implicated a new suspect in the 2007 slaying, which prosecutors successfully argued in 2008 was the work of just one man: Jeramie R. Davis, 41 (pictured).

Read the rest of Tom Clouse's story here.

Past coverage:

Aug. 5: New suspect charged in porn shop owner's murder

July 28: Convicted killer hopes for freedom

July 26: DNA reveals new suspect in 2007 slaying

Could wrong woman be in prison, real criminal still on the loose?

Idaho’s capital city’s been rocked recently by horrifying crime news, from the first-degree murder arrests of the mother and mother’s boyfriend in the case of an 8-year-old boy, Robert Manwill, whose disappearance prompted an intensive community search, to the double life sentences handed down to John Delling, the mentally ill young man who went on a road-trip rampage aimed at tracking down and murdering his childhood friends. Less noticed has been something going on behind the scenes: A possible new twist in another terrible crime.

The Idaho Innocence Project at Boise State University says it has unearthed evidence showing that Sarah Pearce, a woman who was convicted in 2003 for the savage beating of a Washington state motorist who was passing through the area on the freeway, may actually be innocent, in a case of mistaken identity. “There are now witnesses that have come forward with a different story … that clears Sarah and clearly implicates someone else,” said Greg Hampikian, a forensic scientist, biology and criminal justice professor and director of the Idaho Innocence Project. You can read my full Sunday column on the case here.