The Iowa Court of Appeals granted a third trial for a man already convicted twice for the murder of a nine-year-old girl.
Jennifer Lewis’ burned body was found in a field near Jefferson Elementary School in Davenport, Iowa in September 1990. Jennifer had reportedly been raped and strangled before her body was set on fire.
Stanley Liggins, a family acquaintance from Rock Island, was accused of her murder.
Liggins, who is now 51, was tried and convicted of first-degree murder in 1993 in Scott County. That conviction was overturned, and he was tried and convicted again in a change-of-venue trial in 1995 in Dubuque.
An appeal of the second conviction was also successful, and Liggins was granted a third trial.
The Iowa Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday, November 6, 2013 that Liggins did not get a fair trial in Dubuque because defense attorneys were not told that one of the prosecution’s witnesses was a paid police informant.
The Iowa attorney general’s office planned to appeal the ruling to the Iowa Supreme Court.
Liggins is serving a life sentence at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.