Convictions tossed, Missouri inmate gains freedom
Allen, who suffers from schizophrenia and was blinded in one eye during his imprisonment, served 29 years of a 95-year sentence and narrowly avoided the death penalty.
He was convicted in the February 1982 death of 31-year-old Mary Bell, who was killed in her St. Louis apartment. Three witnesses testified that Allen was 10 miles away at his mother’s home at the time of the attack, which happened during a historic blizzard that crippled the St. Louis area.
On Nov. 2, Green ordered Allen’s release in a blistering 75-page ruling that suggested St. Louis police ignored and suppressed numerous pieces of evidence. Among them were blood tests that ruled out Allen as the source of semen found on Bell’s robe, as well as fingerprints, rejected by investigators as unusable smudges, that not only excluded Allen but were used in comparison with other suspects.
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