Attorneys for a northern Missouri man who is facing a third trial for a 1990 killing want to question Gov. Jay Nixon under oath as they prepare their case.
Nixon was the state’s attorney general in 1993, when a grand jury indicted Mark Woodworth on murder and assault charges.
Attorneys for the state argued in court documents filed Monday that any information sought from Nixon would be protected by attorney-client or work-product privilege and would not be relevant to any issues in the case.
“Woodworth has not shown and cannot show that Governor Nixon has any special or unique information concerning Woodworth’s case that cannot be obtained by a less disruptive and intrusive means,” the state’s attorneys wrote.
In their motion seeking to depose Nixon, Woodworth’s attorneys said they wanted to question the governor about his appearance in front of the 1993 grand jury in Livingston County. The attorney general’s office had been appointed as special prosecutor in the case after the county prosecutor asked to be removed.
The defense also wants to ask Nixon about any knowledge he had of a series of letters involving an assistant attorney general, the judge overseeing the grand jury and the husband of the woman Woodworth is accused of killing. Those letters were not provided to Woodworth’s lawyers before trial, which was why the Missouri Supreme Court earlier this year threw out Woodworth’s conviction.
A court hearing on the request to depose Nixon is scheduled for Thursday.
Woodworth, 38, is free on bond while the case is pending. He is charged in the shooting death of Cathy Robertson near Chillicothe. Juries have twice convicted Woodworth of murder, and both convictions were overturned on appeal.