SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A 42-year-old southwest Missouri man serving four consecutive life sentences for the 2008 kidnapping and rape of a 7-year-girl was back in court with a post-conviction appeal that suggests police and prosecutors targeted the wrong man.
Jeffery Allen Dickson of Springfield was convicted in August 2009 of sexually assaulting the child and forcing her to smoke drugs before setting a fire to cover up his crimes. He remains imprisoned at the Potosi Correctional Center in southeast Missouri and appeared Thursday via a long-distance video hookup.
Dickson's public defender says new evidence shows that his DNA sample was tainted by the state crime lab.
Greene County prosecutors challenged that assertion with their own DNA evidence supporting the conviction.
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