Trial to begin for Illinois man accused in Iowa killing
Aug. 27, 2018
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — An Illinois man will stand trial for a third time in the 1990 killing of a 9-year-old girl in Iowa after courts overturned his two previous convictions for the slaying.
Stanley Liggins will go on trial Tuesday on one count of first-degree murder in the death of Jennifer Lewis, The Quad-City Times reported.
Lewis disappeared from her Rock Island, Illinois, neighborhood and her burned remains were found in September 1990 near a school in neighboring Davenport, which is just across the Mississippi River.
At the time of his arrest, Liggins was charged with aggravated sexual abuse in a separate case and was out on bond.
He was convicted of the sexual abuse charge in that case and sentenced to seven years in prison before he stood trial in the Lewis case.
"We are anxious to get this case into trial," said Scott County Attorney Mike Walton who will try the case, along with his sister and Assistant County Attorney Julie Walton.
The Iowa Supreme Court overturned Liggins' 1993 conviction, saying prosecutors improperly presented evidence that Liggins sold cocaine. The court also noted that prosecutors failed to prove that the assault, kidnapping and sexual abuse occurred in Iowa.
Liggins was convicted again, but the Iowa Court of Appeals in November 2013 vacated that second conviction after several motions were filed by Liggins for a new trial. The court ruled that 77 police reports weren't provided to Liggins' defense team and that prosecutors didn't disclose that a key witness was a paid police informant.
Liggins has maintained that he didn't kill Lewis.
"I know I didn't do it, God knows I didn't and the man who killed her knows it wasn't me," he told the newspaper in an October 1990.
Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com