KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The Missouri Supreme Court has assigned a new judge in the Kevin Strickland case.

This means Strickland’s upcoming hearing scheduled for next week will not happen.

The Missouri Attorney General successfully argued that the “appearance of impropriety” means no Jackson County judge should hear the case.

Late Thursday afternoon, that request was granted.

The case will now be heard by Judge James E. Welsh.

Strickland has served more than four decades for a 1978 Kansas City triple murder he swears he did not do.

The eyewitness who originally testified Strickland was there, later doubted her testimony and even contacted a local innocence project to try to help him before she died.

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Conviction Integrity Unit reviewed the case and concluded Strickland was innocent.

Several gunmen admit Strickland was not there the night of the murder.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has previously commented that the Missouri Attorney General’s office has been disruptive in her pursuit to correct a mistake.

Mr. Strickland is represented by the Midwest Innocence Project. They released this statement:

While we are disappointed in the decision, we are confident that any judge who hears the evidence will find that Kevin Strickland is innocent and end this decades long injustice. We hope this is the last delay the Attorney General is permitted to exercise.

Tricia Rojo Bushnell, Director

Midwest Innocence Project

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