- Associated Press - Friday, October 17, 2014

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - A federal magistrate is considering whether to order DNA testing in the case of a former northwestern Pennsylvania teacher serving a life term in the strangulation murder of a student in 1975.

The Erie Times-News (https://bit.ly/1xY8jMB ) reports that 77-year-old Raymond Payne maintains that the tests will show that he did not rape 16-year-old Debbie Gama, whose bound body was found in August 1975 four days after she went to meet a friend at Presque Isle State Park.

Payne is not challenging the homicide conviction but argues that he should have been convicted of a lesser crime such as manslaughter rather than first-degree murder. Defense attorney Anderson Bailey said a favorable DNA test could warrant a new trial.

A Common Pleas judge rejected the request for DNA testing in 2003.

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Information from: Erie Times-News, https://www.goerie.com


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