Attorneys Seek to Block Bullet, Fingerprint Evidence Ahead of Third Murder Trial

By Frankel, Todd C | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), March 2, 2013 | Go to article overview

Attorneys Seek to Block Bullet, Fingerprint Evidence Ahead of Third Murder Trial


Frankel, Todd C, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The case against Mark Woodworth, who twice has been convicted of murder and twice has had the criminal convictions overturned, is based largely on ballistic and fingerprint evidence.

Now his attorneys are challenging that key evidence in new court filings.

The stage for this new round of legal wrangling was set in January, when the Missouri Supreme Court threw out Woodworths most recent conviction for the 1990 fatal shooting of a neighbor outside Chillicothe, Mo.

Woodworth, who has maintained his innocence, has been in prison for most of the past two decades. He was freed on $50,000 bail last month pending a decision by prosecutors on whether to retry the case.

A third trial is anticipated.

Our intention is to retry, Attorney Generals office spokeswoman Nanci Gonder said recently. But, Gonder said, prosecutors were still assessing the appropriateness of continued prosecution.

Not waiting for a decision, Woodworths attorneys also filed paperwork seeking to remove the Attorney General as the cases special prosecutor. They want the case sent to the prosecutor in Livingston County, home to Chillicothe, or to a new special prosecutor.

The case has attracted widespread attention far beyond Chillicothe, about 80 miles northeast of Kansas City.

In 1990, Cathy Robertson was fatally shot while she slept in her home. Her husband, Lyndel Robertson, was wounded. Investigators initially focused on the boyfriend of one of the Robertsons daughters.

But they eventually turned to Woodworth, who at the time of the shooting was 16 and lived across the street.

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