Convicted Monroe College Killer Larry Swearingen Evades Execution:Hot and Latest News
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Convicted Monroe College Killer Larry Swearingen Evades Execution

Larry Swearingen, better known as the purported College Killer, will live to see another day. After receiving the death sentence for the 1999 slaying of a Montgomery College student, Swearingen has received a reprieve from an appeals court, his lawyer arguing that forensic evidence does not align with the viability of Swearingen committing the crime because he would have been in jail at the time of the murder.
Ah, the good old “I Was Too Busy Being Incarcerated to Kill Someone” excuse. Works like a charm every time.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

A federal appeals court on Monday stopped this week's scheduled execution of a man condemned for abducting, raping and strangling a 19-year-old suburban Houston woman 10 years ago.

Larry Swearingen, 37, faced lethal injection Tuesday evening for the death of Melissa Trotter, whose body was found Jan. 2, 1999, in the Sam Houston National Forest south of Huntsville. The discovery came 25 days after she was last seen leaving the library at Montgomery College near Conroe.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reprieve came in response to questions from Swearingen's attorneys about the timing of Trotter's death. Swearingen insisted he couldn't have killed the woman because he was in jail for outstanding traffic warrants when newly evaluated forensic evidence indicates her body was dumped in the woods not far from his home.

…Rytting contended deterioration of Trotter's body would have been much more severe than it was when found, raising the possibility somebody else dumped it in the woods.

A medical examiner testified at Swearingen's trial in 2000 that she believed Trotter was killed the same day she disappeared. But seven years later, the coroner submitted an affidavit changing her opinion, basing her judgment on temperature data compiled by Swearingen's defense. The new opinion, also supported by other forensic experts, said Trotter's body was in the woods for considerably less than 25 days.

The appeals court said Swearingen's due process rights were violated because prosecutors "sponsored the false or misleading testimony" from the medical examiner.

Whether or not Swearingen did indeed kill Trotter, his execution was scheduled to be the fourth already this year in the state of Texas. And while they say that everything is bigger in Texas, it’s probably not preferable for the population on Death Row to also be so sizeable.

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