Judge appoints AG’s office to handle exoneration case

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A judge doesn’t want St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office to handle the exoneration claim of a man serving a life sentence for murder, finding that she may have a conflict in the case.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Gardner has pledged to challenge Circuit Judge Elizabeth Hogan’s decision Thursday to appoint the Missouri Attorney General’s Office to represent the state in the call for a new trial for Lamar Allen Johnson. Gardner’s office found that authorities fabricated evidence and paid a key witness in the 1994 murder case.

Hogan said the issue is that Gardner is accusing her own office of misconduct by declaring that she believes Johnson was wrongly convicted. Hogan gave Gardner’s office and Johnson’s lawyers up to two weeks to file arguments.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com