ST. LOUIS — Attorneys for a man awaiting retrial in the deaths of two sisters forced off an abandoned Mississippi River bridge in St. Louis say in a court filing that they’re negotiating with the Missouri Attorney General’s Office on an unspecified plea agreement.
Reginald Clemons spent 22 years on death row before a judge last year granted a retrial, citing procedural errors in his original trial. The retrial is scheduled for August.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2tiYPij ) reported that Clemons’ attorneys on Monday filed a motion to delay the trial, claiming prosecutors with the attorney general’s office have not provided them with DNA testing and analysis that the state plans to use as evidence.
“Over the course of the past several weeks, counsel for the defense has spent considerable time in discussions with Mr. Clemons and in negotiations with the state over a potential plea agreement,” the filing said. “Those efforts continue, but as of this date, they have not yet resulted in a resolution.”
A message left Tuesday with the attorney general’s office was not immediately returned. Clemons’ attorney, Charles Moreland of Columbia, also did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Clemons was one of four men convicted in the 1991 deaths of 20-year-old Julie Kerry and her 19-year-old sister, Robin. The sisters were visiting the abandoned Chain of Rocks bridge with a male cousin, Thomas Cummins, late one night when they encountered Clemons, who was 19 at the time, along with his cousin, Antonio Richardson, and two friends, Marlin Gray and Daniel Winfrey.
Prosecutors alleged the men raped the sisters and shoved them off the bridge into the river, and forced Cummins to jump. Cummins survived.
Clemons was convicted in 1993. The Missouri Supreme Court overturned the conviction in November 2015 and sent the case back to St. Louis Circuit Court.
A “special master” appointed by the Supreme Court said he found no direct evidence that Clemons didn’t participate in the killings. But Judge Michael Manners also ruled that procedural errors in the original trial were severe enough to merit a retrial.
Winfrey received a 30-year sentence in exchange for his cooperation and has since been paroled. Gray was executed in 2005. Richardson’s death sentence was commuted to life in prison without parole.
Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com