The Associated Press reports that the Connecticut high court is taking another look at a 1985 murder case. The state’s Supreme Court is considering an appeal in a 30-year-old case where two teenagers were convicted of stabbing a 65-year-old man to death.
Arguments are scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday. Defense attorneys claim that false testimony was used about blood evidence to help convict Ralph “Ricky” Birch and Shawn Henning for the murder of Everett Carr, 65, on December 1, 1985.
Birch, 51, is serving 55 years and Henning was sentenced to 50 years. The two were arrested and charged two years after the murder.
Defense supporters say that although the crime scene was covered in blood, no DNA evidence was ever found to link the two men to the crime. Carr had been stabbed 27 times before having his throat cut, and had been beaten several times in the head with a blunt object. No blood was found on either suspect’s person or in their cars.
During the original trials, evidence was presented against them by a forensic expert who claimed it was possible they wouldn’t be covered in blood if they committed the crime. He also testified that a towel that had stains that could be from blood may have been used by the suspects to clean up after the fact.
The towel had never been tested, and when it was tested later for appeal purposes, no blood was found on it.
Blood was allegedly found on the murder weapon, a floorboard, the body and a cigar box between 2010 and 2012 that contained DNA from an unknown source. This DNA likely came from a woman, and footprints found at the scene were too small to match the feet of either of the convicted men.
The two men’s convictions have previously been upheld by lower courts. Prosecutors say that no evidence has been presented that would warrant having the convictions overturned.
*Photo credit the Associated Press