Your Opinion: Evidence supports Helmig’s innocence
Friday, December 10, 2010
I have followed the Dale Helmig conviction and retrial and can’t believe that Attorney General Chris Koster has appealed Judge McElwain’s ruling that prosecutorial zeal, false evidence and poor representation warranted a dismissal of the conviction.
Apparently, Judge McElwain has a history of being fair and impartial so his ruling was arrived at after careful review of the facts.
Interestingly, the judge found that the prosecutors withheld information and provided false or misleading information to the jury; the sheriff provided false information and an ex-highway patrolman recanted his earlier testimony.
In addition, a key element was that Mr. Helmig threw his mother’s purse off the Missouri River bridge after the murder.
Unfortunately for the prosecutors, the purse was found in the river months later and it contained several personal checks canceled by her bank 10 days after her disappearance. Obviously Mr. Helmig couldn’t have been in possession of the purse as claimed by the prosecution.
I would hope that Attorney General Koster doesn’t let technicalities in the law permit an obviously innocent man to remain in jail.
I don’t believe any jury would have found him guilty in view of the evidence provided in Judge McElwain’s hearing and it will be interesting to see any evidence that will warrant Attorney General Koster’s decision to retry.
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