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Judge says she can't order new trial for man convicted in 1994 murder

Johnson's lawyers can still appeal to a higher court.

ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis circuit judge ruled on Friday that she does not have the authority to grant a new trial for Lamar Johnson, who is serving a life sentence for the 1994 murder of a man in south St. Louis.

RELATED: St. Louis Circuit Attorney asks for new trial in 1994 murder case, citing errors in the original prosecution

In a ruling on Friday, Judge Elizabeth Hogan cited several laws that she said disallowed her from granting a new trial.

City Prosecutor Kim Gardner and the Midwest Innocence Project have been fighting for a new trial, claiming Johnson was wrongly convicted in the Murder of Marcus Boyd as a result of misconduct by police. 

Judge Hogan said that Gardner may have engaged in a conflict of interest by making prosecutorial misconduct allegations against one of her former employees. 

Hogan also claimed Gardner and the Midwest Innocence Project might have violated court rules by contacting several jurors from Johnson's trial to discuss new evidence that they said hadn't been shown in the original trial.

Johnson's lawyers can still appeal to a higher court.

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