Reggie Clemons. (Amnesty International)
St. Louis (KSDK) - Some DNA evidence could play a key role in deciding whether a convicted murderer gets a new trial. The hearing for Reginald Clemons wrapped up for the week on Thursday, but not before the state called three DNA experts that tried to link Clemons to the 1991 rape and murder of Robin and Julie Kerry.
The testimony got extremely technical, but it basically boiled down to three pieces of evidence.
Police found a pair of pants and boxer shorts worn by co-defendant Marlon Gray on the night of the rapes and murders. On those clothes they found DNA samples from two males and a female donor. State attorneys argued that the mix of DNA matched Gray and it's extremely likely the other male sample matches Reggie Clemons. They say the evidence is consistent with a gang rape.
While the state couldn't prove an absolute match to Clemons, scientists testified that Clemons could not be ruled out.
There was also a condom found at the murder scene. It too, had male and female DNA. The male sample couldn't be identified but according to a DNA expert, it's pretty clear where the female sample came from.
"We concluded that there was a very high likelihood that the unknown DNA profile from the condom was from the daughter of Virginia and Richard Kerry," said Kim Gorman of Paternity Testing Corporation in Columbia, MO.
Gorman said there is a 99.99% probability that the DNA matched the offspring of the Kerry parents.
Missouri Assistant Attorney General Susan Boresi said in the state of Missouri, if someone dies during a crime any accomplices, whether they committed the murder of not, can be charged with murder. That's one reason why the state is pushing to prove Clemons committed the rapes.
Attorneys on both sides still have a few witnesses to interview. They must have that done by November first then turn everything over to the judge by December first. The judge will then make his recommendation to the MO Supreme Court who will make a final ruling.
Clemons was on the stand for more two hours Wednesday.
Clemons' taped confession was played in court and the attorneys for the state questioned him about it. Clemons repeatedly plead the fifth.
Clemons' attorneys asked their client if he was involved in the murders and he said no. They never asked him if he was involved in the rapes.
They also asked him a number of questions about allegedly being beaten by police to coerce a confession. Then, the attorneys for the state held up Clemons' booking photo and asked him to point out marks from the alleged beating. Clemons said he couldn't see the marks in the photo.
After the hearing recessed for the day, Virginia Kerry, mother of the murder victims, said innocent people don't plead the fifth.
"He confessed to killing my children 21 yrs ago and now he's innocent?" said Kerry. "He didn't do anything? Everybody framed him? He's poor Reggie? And all these people walk around with justice for Reggie shirts. What about some justice for Julie and Robin? What about some justice for my children who never did anything to hurt anybody in their lives?"