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Prosecutors dispute that witness in 1990 case misled jurors

March 5, 2019
In this Aug. 31, 2018 photo, Stanley Liggins leaves a Black Hawk County courtroom during a break in his murder trial in Waterloo, Iowa. An attorney for Liggins says he has discovered records showing that prosecution witness Antonio Holmes was given a favorable plea agreement in exchange for his testimony against Liggins even though Holmes insisted at each trial that prosecutors did not give him any benefit in exchange for his testimony. Liggins is preparing to stand trial a fourth time in the death of 9-year-old Jennifer Lewis. (Jeff Reinitz/Waterloo-Cedar Courier via AP)

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Prosecutors in Davenport are disputing allegations that they allowed a key witness to give false testimony at three trials of a man charged with killing a girl in 1990.

Scott County Attorney Michael Walton acknowledges in a filing that Antonio Holmes was required to testify at the trial of Stanley Liggins under his plea agreement on theft and burglary charges.

But he says the deal only required that Holmes testify truthfully and not in any particular way against Liggins. Walton says Holmes testified to his opinion when he told jurors that he didn’t receive any benefit for his cooperation.

Liggins is set to stand trial next week for a fourth time in the death of 9-year-old Jennifer Lewis. His defense has asked for the case to be dismissed, alleging that Holmes has been allowed to falsely tell jurors he didn’t get a benefit for testifying.

Holmes says he saw Liggins and Lewis together shortly before she was kidnapped.

A judge is holding a hearing Tuesday to consider the matter.