Jurors speak on Missouri man’s freedom after 2009 conviction
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Four jurors involved in the 2009 murder conviction of a Missouri man are speaking up about his recent release.
Brad Jennings was convicted of killing his wife on Christmas 2006 and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. A judge vacated the conviction on Feb. 8, releasing Jennings on $250,000 bail the next day, the Springfield News-Leader reported .
Juror Eddie Hawkins said this week that he had a “funny feeling that (Jennings) was not getting a fair shake” because the defense attorney did a poor job.
“I don’t think those lawyers did him justice,” Hawks said. “That’s from what I seen, in the whole case.”
Hawkins also said evidence that was never handed over to the defense at trial could have made a difference in his finding Jennings guilty.
Attorneys discovered in 2016 that evidence held by the Missouri State Highway Patrol was never handed over to the defense. A gunshot residue test by the highway patrol on the bathrobe Jennings wore the night his wife died from a gunshot to the head indicated it was unlikely Jennings fired a weapon. But those results were never revealed at trial.
“If I would have known that and everything, it definitely would have made a difference,” Hawkins said.
Jury forewoman Judith Rollins said “maybe” to whether the undisclosed test results would have made a difference in her guilty finding.
Two other jurors who found Jennings guilty, Greg Whipple and Dolly Mae House, said the excluded evidence wouldn’t have changed their minds.
“I think the jury did the right thing,” Whipple said. “That’s the deal.”
Jennings still faces a murder charge. The Missouri Attorney General’s office has not yet said whether it will retry him.
Jennings has maintained he’s not guilty and that his wife killed herself.
Information from: Springfield News-Leader, http://www.news-leader.com