St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - The man sentenced for raping and killing a court reporter in 1982 will not face retrial after his conviction was overturned last week, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said Wednesday.
A Cole County, Missouri Circuit judge tossed out the conviction of George Allen Jr. in the murder of Mary Bell, whose body was found inside her Lafayatte Park home on February 4, 1982. She'd been raped, stabbed and her throat was slit.
George Allen Jr. was arrested and later convicted of burglary, sodomy, rape and murder in 1983.
The circuit judge ruled Friday, November 3 that the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department deprived Allen of his right to a fair trial.
"...The undisclosed evidence would have given the defense affirmative proof - foreign semen and fingerprints that could not have come from Allen - that someone else raped and killed Ms. Bell," the judge said.
St. Louis police claimed at the time George Allen confessed to raping other women, and eventually admitted to killing Mary Bell to Detective Herb Riley in a tape recording. Riley died in December 1996. Since Riley was the only witness to the taped recording and thus unable to act as a witness in a possible retrial, the circuit attorney's office declined to retry Allen.
The Attorney General's Office released the following statement about the case Wednesday afternoon:
"The Attorney General's Office will appeal the trial court's decision in the George Allen case.
"As this office has stated previously in similar situations, the appellate process provides a system of checks and balances on our state's trial court decisions. We believe the facts and circumstances of the case and the trial court's findings should be examined by the appellate court as part of the normal safeguarding process.
"We will defer to the Western District Court of Appeals' decision in this matter, and if the court determines the judge's ruling is correct, we will not pursue further action."