The state Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out first-degree murder convictions for Reginald Clemons, who was sentenced to death in 1993 for the murders of sisters Julie Kerry, 20, and Robin Kerry, 19, on the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis.
The Court had appointed a retired judge to review the case and Clemons’ case that prosecutors had wrongly suppressed evidence and that detectives beat Clemons to force a confession. That judge, Michael Manners, sided with Clemons on those arguments and that they were not harmless mistakes as the state had argued, though he said they were not likely to change the verdicts against Clemons.
The Supreme Court could have taken a number of actions. It ruled 4-3 to send the case back to a circuit court for possible retrial.
The state has 60 days to retry Clemons. If it does not, the case would be dismissed. He would remain in prison, though, on a 15-year sentence in a different case.
Clemons and three other men were convicted of raping and murdering Julie and Robin Kerry in April, 1991. One of those men, Marlin Gray, was executed in 2005. Antonio Richardson was sentenced to death and his sentence was later changed to life without parole. Daniel Winfrey received a 30-year sentence in exchange for testimony and has been paroled.