- Associated Press - Thursday, February 12, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A Mississippi death row inmate has won a new trial after the state Supreme Court found police investigators withheld evidence from prosecutors and defense attorneys that showed a key state witness lied

Willie Jerome Manning was sentenced to death in the 1993 slayings of 90-year-old Emmoline Jimmerson and her daughter, 60-year-old Alberta Jordan. Police and prosecutors say the women were beaten and had their throats slashed. They were killed during a robbery attempt at their Starkville apartment.

Manning’s attorneys argued the conviction should be overturned because of questions about the testimony given by Kevin Lucious, who said he lived in the Brookdale Gardens complex at the time and saw Manning go into the apartment door.

The state Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, said notes from when police knocked on doors at the complex showed the apartment where Lucious claimed to live was vacant at the time of the shooting and Lucious was not registered as renting an apartment. The Supreme Court said police withheld that information.

“We conclude the evidence was favorable to Manning for impeachment of Lucious’ testimony,” Presiding Justice Michael Randolph wrote in the decision.

“Both the defense attorneys and the district attorney testified that their actions in preparing for the case and presenting the case would have been different had they possessed the evidence. Any attorney worth his salt would salivate at impeaching the State’s key witness using evidence obtained by the Starkville Police Department,” Randolph said.

Justice David A. Chandler, in a dissent, said Lucious was a frequent visitor to the apartment complex before his girlfriend moved in. Chandler said other testimony put Lucious at the apartment complex during the investigation of the murders.

Chandler said Lucious was only one of many trial witnesses who placed Manning at Brooksville Gardens on the day of the murders.

In May 2013, Manning had been set for lethal injection in a separate case - the December 1992 slayings of Mississippi State University students Jon Steckler and Tiffany Miller. The state Supreme Court blocked the execution hours before it was scheduled.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide