JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned a conviction for a man who was sentenced in the 1990 shooting death of one of his neighbors, Catherine Robertson, in Chillicothe.
Robertson’s husband, Lyndel, was wounded in the shooting.
The court ruled prosecutors withheld evidence which could have been used in Mark Woodworth’s defense.
Woodworth had been serving life in prison for the murder. He was just 16 years old at the time of the killing.
He has been ordered to be released in the next two months by the court, unless if prosecutors decide to retry him.
Woodworth was first convicted in 1995. He was briefly released on an appeal, but was convicted by another jury in 1999.
The state’s high court ruled Tuesday prosecutors “withheld material, favorable evidence from the defense” which could have helped Woodworth defend himself against accusations he killed Robertson.
Woodworth’s attorneys argued his conviction was “tainted” by prosecutors’ failure to turn over copies of letters that “cast doubt on his guilt.” They also said there was “other evidence” which would have helped the defense.
Woodworth and Robertson were neighboring farmers.
We’ll have much more on the high court’s decision tonight on FOX 4 News at 9 and 10.