Virginia Convict Could Be Freed

By: Mark Tenia Email
By: Mark Tenia Email

January 9, 2007

Today Carpitcher's lawyer asked the Virginia Supreme Court to throw out the conviction.

If the court agrees Carpitcher could be the first inmate freed under a 2004 law that lifted Virginia's three week deadline for introducing newly discovered, non biological evidence of innocence.

Carpitcher, 50, was convicted of sexually abusing his girlfriend's 9-year-old daughter and was sentenced to 38 years.

The child, the prosecution's only witness, later recanted her story and said that she lied in order to break up her mother's relationship with Carpitcher.

Carpitcher's attorney, George Somerville, told the justices that the prosecution had no case against Carpitcher because the girl has recanted repeatedly under oath over a five year period.

Virginia Theisen, senior assistant attorney general, noted that lower courts found that the girl's mother had pressured her in to changing he story.

Somerville says that just because her story was coerced doesn't mean it isn't true.

The Supreme Court is expected to make a ruling on March 2nd.

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