Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Test of fingerprint found on bridge sought in Slover case

An attorney trying to gain a new trial for three members of the Slover family, all convicted of murdering 23-year-old Karyn Hearn Slover, presented oral arguments to the appellate court in an effort to test a fingerprint found on a bridge.

This issue was decided by Macon County Associate Judge Timothy Steadman on March 16 after a lengthy hearing held six weeks earlier.

At that time, Steadman ruled that the latent print, found on the Bruce-Findlay Bridge railing over Lake Shelbyville in 1996, shortly after parts of the victim's body were found downstream, was not suitable for identification. A prosecution witness testified that it lacked enough landmarks to be matched with an unknown print from a database.

Peter Wise argued before a panel of the Fourth District Appellate Court that the ruling was erroneous, because Steadman said the print had zero scientific potential to produce evidence relevant to the Slovers' actual innocence.

Wise, a private attorney working with the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project, said he successfully showed there is a potential exoneration of his clients to be found in the partial latent print.

The article featuring the Downstate Illinois Innocence Project at UIS was featured in an July 13, 2011, edition of the Decatur Herald & Review.

Read the full article online