- Associated Press - Saturday, May 24, 2014

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A former prison inmate has been found not guilty in the 1989 death of a 16-year-old honors student from southwestern Illinois.

A St. Clair County Court jury on Friday found 53-year-old Carlos Garrett did not kill Nicole Willis, who was sexually assaulted and beaten near her home in Centreville, just east of St. Louis.

Garrett was charged last year with first-degree murder based on DNA found on the victim.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (https://bit.ly/1t6zocc ) Garrett’s attorney argued that Garrett had an alibi for the time Nicole disappeared in October 1989 while walking home from her bus stop, and noted there were other suspects.

An Illinois State Police expert testified that the DNA found on Nicole belonged to Garrett with a certainty of 3.2 quadrillion to one.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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