High court overturns murder conviction

September 24, 2009 3:15:44 PM PDT
The Illinois Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a DuPage County man who received the death penalty for the murder of his stepdaughter.Laurence Lovejoy was convicted in 2007. His 16-year-old stepdaughter, Erin Justice, was beaten, stabbed and drowned.

On Thursday, the state's high court reversed Lovejoy's conviction and sentence, citing contradicting expert testimony over a bloody footprint.

DuPage County state's attorney Joe Birkett says even without the print evidence the evidence against Lovejoy was overwhelming.

Prosecutors argued that Lovejoy killed his stepdaughter to prevent her from testifying that he had raped her.

The state supreme court ruled Lovejoy must get a new trial.


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