That's the title of Brandi Grissom's Texas Tribune post.
Kerry Max Cook, who spent two decades on death row for a 1977 murder, says Smith County prosecutors are fighting dirty in their mission to stymie his efforts to prove his innocence.
In a motion filed Wednesday in Smith County state district court, Cook argues that prosecutors have resorted to lies and fabrications to prevent DNA testing on evidence he hopes will prove, more than 35 years after the crime, that he did not kill Linda Jo Edwards.
"Our motion to strike contains an absolutely irrefutable record of deliberate egregious misrepresentations by" prosecutors, Cook said in a prepared statement.
Cook, 56, was convicted in 1978 of the rape and murder of Linda Jo Edwards in Tyler. His first conviction was overturned, a second trial ended in a hung jury and a third ended with a conviction that was reversed after a court found it was tainted by prosecutorial misconduct. Before Smith County attempted to try Cook a fourth time, he agreed to a plea deal in 1999. Pleading no contest, he was set free. Subsequent testing revealed another man’s DNA on the victim’s clothes.
After Cook's lawyers requested additional DNA testing on evidence in the case, they discovered some evidence had been destroyed and the storage of other evidence had presented questions regarding its chain of custody.
The lawyers have asked for a hearing to decide whether the evidence has been so tainted that accurate DNA testing could be impossible. Smith County prosecutors argue the request for a hearing is an effort by Cook to delay the testing because they allege he is worried the testing will confirm his guilt. In their motion to strike the prosecutor’s motion opposing the hearing, Cook’s lawyers say the document is full of misrepresentations and should be stricken from the case record.
Earlier coverage of Kerry Max Cook's fight to completely clear his name begins at the link.