A death-row inmate only days from being released, now sits in the Cole County Jail in Jefferson City awaiting the results of blood tests that could either free him, or send him back to trial. Condemned prisoner Joseph Amrine seemed on his way to freedom after the State Supreme Court ruled he had “met his burden of providing clear and convincing evidence of actual innocense that undermines” the court’s confidence in his conviction. Witnesses who testified that Amrine stabbed to death fellow inmate Gary Barber in the Jefferson City prison-yard in 1985 have since recanted, and it appeared the case against him fell apart. Cole County Prosecutor Bill Tackett has amended the original indictment so DNA testing can be made on blood found on Amrine’s pants. Tackett says if the tests prove Barber’s blood is on Amrine’s pants, another murder trial against Amrine is possible. Tackett understands the how sensitive a case he has on his hands and insists that ultimately it is like any other case. For now, Amrine remains incarcerated on one million dollars bond.
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