Hearing granted in cut-from-womb, triple murder case

February 7, 2012 2:26:49 PM PST
A man convicted of killing a pregnant woman by cutting an unborn baby from her womb in 1995 will get a new hearing.

A federal judge granted Fedell Caffey an evidentiary hearing in which Caffey can argue he did not get a fair trial in the 1995 murder of Debra Evans and her two children. The child cut from Evans' wound survived and is now a teenager living downstate.

Caffey was one of three people convicted in the triple murder. He appealed, but it was denied by the Illinois Supreme Court. Despite that denial, a federal judge ruled there is enough information to hold a hearing -- including drug dealing between a DuPage County prosecutor and a key witness.

Caffey was sentenced to death in the Evans murder. His sentence was commuted to life without parole after the death penalty was halted in Illinois.

After exhausting all appeals, a federal judge issued an order that could lead to a new trial for Caffey. Richard Kling was Caffey's post conviction attorney. He believes the 30 year old is probably innocent in the triple murder of Evans, her 10-year-old daughter and 7-year-old son.

"This is a federal judge insulated from politics of DuPage County or anywhere else. I'm not looking for favors. All I'm looking for is the truth," Kling said.

Prosecutors said Caffey also cut a full-term baby from Evans' womb. That child is being raised by Evans' father, Sam Evans.

"I don't blame him. I would want out, too. I want my daughter back. I'm not getting that. I'm want my granddaughter and grandson back, [I'm] not getting that," Evans said.

Evans says it makes him sick that a federal judge has agreed to hold an evidentiary hearing. However, Kling says it is about time because the right to a hearing is based on evidence that prevented Caffey from a fair trial.

"There was a prosecutor buying drugs from a key witness and that information was not disclosed to the defense, there were other witnesses given deals not disclosed to the defense," Kling said.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly indicates that prosecutor will be a key witness, as will others in the DuPage County State's Attorney's Office who are accused of wrongdoing.

Evans says none of this is new information.

"Why waste the taxpayers' money, why would the judge waste his time to go through the same process as another judge?" Evans said.

Caffey's hearing is expected within the next couple of weeks.