UPDATE: Liggins To Officially Get Third Murder Trial - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

UPDATE: Liggins To Officially Get Third Murder Trial

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Jennifer Lewis Jennifer Lewis
Stanley Liggins Stanley Liggins

UPDATE 1-28-14:

A Rock Island man, twice convicted for killing a 9-year-old girl will get a third trial. The Iowa Court of Appeals granted Stanley Liggins a new trial in November. 

Following that decision the Iowa Attorney General's office asked the state Supreme Court to review the Appeals court's decision, which the Supreme Court denied, allowing this third trial to proceed.

The Appeals court upheld his claim that he was denied a fair trial because prosecutors did not tell his attorneys a key witness was a paid police informant.

Original Nov. 6, 2013

A Rock Island man convicted twice of killing a nine-year old girl in Davenport will get another trial. That is thanks to a court ruling made because of new evidence.

It's been more than 20 years since Jennifer Lewis was murdered. But Wednesday, an appeals court ruled that new evidence warrants a new day in court for the man convicted of the crime. That evidence is that all those years ago, evidence was actually suppressed in the Stanley Liggins trial.

Twenty-three years later the case still stirs strong emotion. It was a brutal crime Nine-year old Jennifer Lewis was raped and strangled. Her body was then set on fire and found in a Davenport school yard. Devastating to her community and her family. Her mother, Sheri Glenn, asking at the time, "Why? What did we ever do to you? Why did you do that to Jennifer?"

Police arrested then 28-year old Stanley Liggins. The Scott County Attorney charged him with first degree murder, taking the case to trial in 1993. Prosecutors made a case against the man Jennifer's parents once called a friend. A man with a criminal record that included a child molestation conviction.

Liggins was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. But because his prior record was used in the original trial, he got another one. And in 1995, Liggins was convicted again. He told TV6 back then that he was innocent. We asked, "Stanley, did you kill Jennifer Lewis?" His response, "No, I didn't." Liggins claimed he didn't get a fair trial, that the all-white jury was out to get him and was forced into a guilty verdict. He said, "I feel like 90-percent of it was race."

Since then, he has continued to try for a new trial, in 1997, 2007 and again in 2011. And the Iowa Court of Appeals is ruling he should get one, saying Liggins was denied a fair trial because prosecutors didn't tell his lawyers a key witness was a paid police informant. Now Retired Scott County Attorney Bill Davis prosecuted the case. He didn't want to go into a lot of detail, but says neither he nor the police officers working this knew the witness was an informant. And that the informant was not paid in the Liggins case.

Reps with the Iowa Attorney General's office tell us they will appeal to the Iowa Supreme Court.

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