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You are here News Human Rights Murder conviction of Missouri woman overturned after 43 years in prison

Murder conviction of Missouri woman overturned after 43 years in prison

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Murder conviction of woman overturned after 43 years

A Missouri woman who was imprisoned for more than 40 years for murder has had her conviction overturned after a judge found “clear and convincing” evidence that she was innocent of the killing in question.

Sandra “Sandy” Hemme, 63, was convicted of – and sentenced to life imprisonment for – the 1980 slaying of Patricia Jeschke, a library worker in St Joseph, Missouri, after Hemme made statements to the police incriminating herself while she was a psychiatric patient.

On Friday, Livingston county circuit judge Ryan Horsman ruled that “evidence directly” ties the killing of Jeschke to a local police officer who later went to prison for another crime and has since died.

Hemme, who has spent the last 43 years behind bars, must be freed within 30 days unless prosecutors decide to re-try her, the judge said. The ruling came after an evidentiary hearing in January where Hemme’s legal team presented arguments supporting her evidence.

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