Inmate lamar johnson

ST.LOUIS, MO (KCTV) -- We have an update for you in a KCTV5 News Investigation we brought you last night about a Missouri father who’s been in prison for 24 years.

An Innocence Project says Lamar Johnson is innocent. The prosecutor’s office that convicted him actually agrees.

However, things took a turn when both sides showed up in court on Thursday morning.

Johnson was very hopeful when he went to court this morning. It’s not often that an Innocence Project and prosecutor join forces and announce your case was built on dirty tactics and police payoffs.

On Thursday, though a judge questioned who should set off the legal chain of events to set Johnson free.

Johnson was convicted of a 1994 murder. It was dark and the killer wore a full face mask. So, even the prosecutor questions the pivotal role of eyewitness identification in this case. That eyewitness has walked back his testimony. Others have even confessed to the murder.

Despite that, the judge is questioning the process. In the meantime, Johnson is sitting in a St. Louis County jail waiting for legal technicalities to be worked out.

“From what I hear, it’s being held up on technicalities,” he said. “If everybody agrees that I am innocent, then I don’t understand why it’s so hard to just do the right thing. Sign the papers so that I can go on with my life, try to pick up the pieces and move on.”

This case is creating a firestorm in St. Louis because the St. Louis Police Department looks absolutely awful in the legal filings.

The department won’t comment because of litigation. The police union is taking their own personal shots at the prosecutor’s office, releasing this statement:

“Kim Gardner shouldn’t be allowed to use words like ‘misconduct’ or ‘integrity.’ She is the most corrupt elected official in St. Louis history. Nobody should have any confidence in her brand of justice. And, victims suffer the most under her perverse brand of justice.”

The Innocence Project working on the case is the Kansas City based Midwest Innocence Project. They work tirelessly to free wrongfully convicted people. It is the same group which represented and helped free Lamonte McIntyre.

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