A Missouri man whose murder conviction was thrown out this month by the state Supreme Court is asking the court to disqualify the attorney generals office from pursuing a new trial.
By TONY RIZZO
The Kansas City Star
Any decision to retry Mark Woodworth in the 1990 killing of a woman near Chillicothe, Mo., should be made by an independent prosecutor or the current county prosecutor, attorney Robert Ramsey argued in court documents filed Tuesday on Woodworths behalf.
In a separate action, the attorney generals office filed official notice Tuesday stating that it intended to retry Woodworth.
Woodworth, 38, was accused as a teen in the killing of a neighbor, Cathy Robertson, and the wounding of her husband.
Two juries convicted him of murder, but both convictions were thrown out on appeal. Lawyers from the attorney generals office handled both prosecutions after the Livingston County prosecutor asked to be removed from the case.
That removal no longer applies to the current prosecutor, Ramsey argued in Tuesdays motion. That leaves the attorney general without authority to proceed, Ramsey maintained.
In this months decision to throw out Woodworths second conviction, the Supreme Court adopted the recommendation of a judge it had appointed to look into the case. That judge found that Woodworths rights were violated because prosecutors failed to turn over some evidence to the defense before trial.
That judge recommended that an independent prosecutor review the case to determine if there should be a retrial. The court did not address that recommendation in its ruling. Ramsey asked that it be included as part of the courts decision.
The court gave the attorney generals office until noon Thursday to file its response to Woodworths motion.
Woodworth remains incarcerated pending the courts decision on whether bond should be set.
To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to email@example.com.