Lamar Johnson | St. Louis Public Radio

Lamar Johnson

From left, Tricia Bushnell, Mike Jarvis and Ginny Schrappen joined Thursday's program.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Lamar Johnson has been in prison for 24 years. A St. Louis jury found him guilty of murder in 1995 – and he’s been serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole ever since. 

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner now says prosecutors in her office engaged in serious misconduct. Saying her Conviction Integrity Unit has found new evidence that Johnson is actually innocent, she sought a new trial.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Elizabeth Hogan denied that request. She says Gardner’s motion came “approximately 24 years” past the deadline. Tricia Bushnell, director of the Midwest Innocence Project, isn’t buying it.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner details her hopes for St. Louis after taking the oath of office on Jan. 6, 2017.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis judge has ruled that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner does not have the authority to ask for a new trial in the case of a man Gardner says was wrongfully convicted of murder.

Judge Elizabeth Hogan’s opinion, issued Friday, also says Gardner’s request in the case of Lamar Johnson was filed well beyond deadlines outlined in court rules and decisions. 

A spokeswoman said Gardner will appeal the ruling, and had no further comment.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner takes the oath of office at the Old Courthouse on January 6, 2017.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis prosecutor is defending her authority to ask for a new trial for a man she says was wrongfully convicted of murder and armed criminal action 24 years ago.

Kim Gardner last month filed a motion for a new trial in the case of Lamar Johnson. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1995 for shooting and killing Marcus Boyd — a conviction that Gardner’s office argued was tainted by police and prosecutorial misconduct.