There are 2 motions that were filed, and they are over 265 pages of arguments.
In this motion, Kerry Max Cook's attorneys write that Cook was unjustly
punished for the 1977 murder of Linda Jo Edwards and they want new DNA testing
to help clear his name.
The next motion asks that judge Jack Skeen, who was one of the attorneys who
prosecuted Cook back in the 90's, to be reused.
Since Cook was released from prison in 1999, he maintains he never killed Linda
Jo Edwards. But prosecutors say on June 10, 1977 Cook went into Edward's Tyler
apartment, hit her over the head with a plaster statue, stabbed her multiple
times and sexually mutilated her body.
Inside her apartment police found Cook's fingerprint on the sliding glass door.
Cook was convicted twice for capital murderer and twice the conviction was
overturned. The appeals court cited prosecutorial misconduct for the reversals.
A 3rd trial ended in a hung jury.
"That misconduct from 1978 led to the reversal of the last conviction and put
us in a position where we could not use the only witness that could put Mr.
Cook in the apartment complex the night of the murder," Assistant DA in the
1994 trial David Dobbs said. "So it severely impaired our ability to go
Dobbs said as they were preparing to try the case a 4th time, when they offered
Cook a deal he could plead no contest to the crime and get time served. Cook
took it and walked free.
Now 15 years later, Cook wants to clear his name.
"One would have to ask the question as to why someone would write a book,
promote the book, be part of a play, travel the county literally all over the
place, professing his innocence and wait until 2012 to ask for DNA testing,"
In a motion filed this week, Cook's attorney asks for DNA testing for blood,
semen, hair and other biological evidence that could prove Cook's innocence.
The motion argues Cook would not have been convicted had DNA testing been done.
But Dobbs said DNA evidence was being done when Cook took the plea deal.
"We were waiting for the results of the testing to come in," he said. "In fact,
we were trying to get the court to continue the start of the trial to allow the
results to be in at the time he entered his plea."
That evidence later showed DNA on Edwards underwear was not Cooks, but rather
her boyfriend. Cooks lawyers argue the boyfriend is the real killer and they
want more evidence tested to make that case.
"If there's evidence that indicates someone else did it that can be tested
that's great," he said.
But Dobbs believes they did convict the right man.,P> "I mean from the evidence
I've seen," he said. "But if there is other evidence out there that can be
located and tested that sheds any light on this case then find it and test it
as far as I'm concerned."
Cook has a lot riding on this motion. Not only does he want his name cleared
but if he gets exonerated for the crime, he could get about $1.7 million from
the state for the 20 years he served.
We are told that Judge Skeen will not respond to this motion because all cases
he was involved in go straight to the 114 district court.
The next step is for the Smith County District Attorney to locate what evidence
(source: CBS News)