MEDIA, Pa. (CBS) — Hearings are being held in Delaware County Court on behalf of a 60-year-old man from Chester who has spent the last 37 years behind bars for a murder he swears he didn’t commit. His lawyer is seeking to have DNA tests performed on evidence from a case tried before DNA was even part of the legal process.
Leroy Evans and Anthony Jones were convicted in the 1980 murder of Avon rep Emily Leo. A year ago, Jones changed his story and maintains he, alone, killed Leo. Evans’ attorney, Michael Malloy, says that recantation paired with other evidence should be enough to take a fresh look at his client’s conviction.
“This is the last hurrah for Leroy,” Malloy told KYW Newsradio, “and all we’re looking for, quite frankly, is just to have somebody investigate this. We don’t even want them to say ‘Yes’. But just please investigate this and find out what happened.”
Family members of the victim don’t put much stock in Jones’ changed story and believe Evans is playing for another bite of the legal apple.
“If you’re complicit in one aspect of the crime, by just burning the clothes, you might as well have done the beating yourself,” family spokesman John Kaisner said. “You’re involved in that crime and I think the law will clearly be clear on that.”
Prosecutors insist there has to be a case made for Evans’ innocence over and above what DNA tests might prove, and much of that evidence is badly deteriorated now.
Judge James Bradley will continue the hearing late next month.