Judge finds no issue with witness testimony in 1990 slaying

March 7, 2019
In this Sept. 14, 2018 photo, Sheri McCormick, seated at right, mother of Jennifer Lewis, glances at Stanley Liggins as he exits the Black Hawk County courtroom 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. 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) — An Iowa judge says she sees no legal problem with testimony from a key witness in a 1990 murder case who has misleadingly told three juries that he didn’t receive any benefit from prosecutors.

Judge Marlita Greve denied motions Thursday filed by lawyers for Stanley Liggins that sought to delay his fourth trial in the death of 9-year-old Jennifer Lewis, to recuse prosecutors or to dismiss the case altogether. She said trial would begin Monday in Waterloo.

At issue was information discovered by Liggins’ defense that showed Antonio Holmes was given a generous plea deal that specifically required him to testify at Liggins’ 1993 trial. At that trial and two others, including one last year, Holmes testified he received no benefit for his cooperation.

Greve says the fact that he had a plea agreement has been known. She noted that Holmes came forward shortly after the crime to say he saw a man who could be Liggins at a liquor store with Lewis before she was kidnapped.