KALKASKA, Mich. (AP) — A northern Michigan judge has thrown out a conviction in the rape and murder of a 68-year-old woman in 1996.
Kalkaska County Judge Janet Allen was influenced by DNA tests that weren't available at trial in 1998. She says tests on clothing worn by Geraldine Montgomery rule out Jamie Peterson as the attacker.
The judge says the tests qualify as newly discovered evidence under Michigan law. She granted Peterson's request for a new trial in an order signed last Thursday.
Peterson made incriminating statements to police, but his lawyers say it was a false confession. He's represented by the University of Michigan law school's Innocence Clinic.
A message seeking comment was left for the prosecutor Monday.
The DNA has been linked to another man, Jason Ryan, who is awaiting trial.