Judge says she can’t order new trial for convicted murderer

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri judge has ruled that she doesn’t have the authority to grant a new trial for a man serving a life sentence for a murder he and others contend he didn’t commit.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports Circuit Judge Elizabeth Hogan’s ruling on Friday means 45-year-old Lamar Johnson will remain in prison for the 1994 murder of 25-year-old Marcus Boyd.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner and the Midwest Innocence Project are seeking a new trial for Johnson.

Last month, a report from Gardner’s office said misconduct by police and a former St. Louis prosecutor led to Johnson’s conviction.

Hogan’s ruling noted Johnson may appeal to a higher court, although he has been unsuccessful in three previous appeals.

Gardner’s spokeswoman, Susan Ryan, said the office will appeal Hogan’s ruling.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

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