A Florida inmate is back in court this week and hoping new evidence will prove him innocent and free him from death row.
Thirty-three-year-old Clemente Javier “Shorty” Aguirre was sentenced to death in 2006 for the murders of his neighbors, Cheryl A. Williams and her wheelchair-bound mother Carol Bareis. According to attorneys for The Innocence Project there is new DNA evidence that suggests Aguirre is innocent, and they are presenting it in a two-week evidentiary hearing before asking Circuit Judge Jessica Recksiedler to vacate Aguirre’s conviction.
From the Orlando Sentinel:
The new hearing will focus on two things: new DNA found at the murder scene and 30-year-old Samantha Lee Williams — Williams’ daughter and Bareis’ granddaughter. She lived in the mobile home with them but had spent the night they were killed with her boyfriend.
There was an enormous amount of blood at the murder scene. After Aguirre’s conviction and with the help of the Innocence Project, a New York-based nonprofit that works to exonerate the wrongfully convicted, defense attorneys hired scientists to test more of it.
They’re expected to testify that they’ve found eight drops of Samantha Williams’ blood at the house but none from Aguirre.
They’re also expected to testify that the blood found on Aguirre’s clothes all consisted of “contact” stains, those that happen when someone touches something already bloody — not spatter stains, the kind caused by a blow.
Defense attorneys also are expected to offer evidence about Samantha Williams’ long record of mental illness…..Defense attorneys also are expected to present evidence that Samantha and her mother, the victim with 129 stab wounds, had an argument the night the women were killed.
If Judge Recksiedler rules in favor of vacating and throws out the sentence, Aguirre will receive a new trial.
Much more on the story here: