New Evidence In Missouri Death Penalty Case

Chain of Rocks Bridge

The brutal slaying of two young women in 1991 continues to rock the Gateway City as new evidence emerges amid claims of prosecutorial misconduct.

Julie Kerry

A crucial development occurred in the case of convicted murderer Reginald “Reggie” Clemons when the Missouri Attorney General’s office announced the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has found undisclosed evidence in the case. The evidence, which was not presented at trial, consists of lab reports and a “rape kit.” Clemons was convicted of the 1991 slaying of Julie and Robin Kerry on the Chain of Rocks Bridge.

Robin Kerry

Clemons and three other men were convicted of the assault and murder of 19-year-old Robin and 20-year-old Julie. The sisters and their cousin, 19-year-old Thomas Cummins, were viewing a poem the young women wrote on the bridge when they were attacked. They were assaulted then forced off the bridge into the Mississippi River; the Kerry sisters were killed, Cummins survived.

In addition to the new evidence, Amnesty International has pledged its involvement to help Clemons win a new trial or at least have his death sentence commuted. The human rights group alleges police brutality, racial profiling, and jury misconduct, calling the Clemons’ trial unjust. The St. Louis chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also claims prosecutorial misconduct. Circuit attorney general Nels Moss, who prosecuted Clemons, has been under fire for his alleged mishandling of the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review an 8th Circuit appellate court decision not to block of execution of Clemons. Of three men convicted with Clemons, Marlin Gray was executed in 2005, Antonio Richardson is serving life without parole (his original death sentence was reversed in 2003), and Daniel Winfrey was paroled in 2007.

For a definitive account of the case, read A Rip In Heaven by Jeanine Cummins.