Death Penalty Case to be Re-Tried in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (MissouriNet) -- A man whose death sentence was thrown out in November will be retried for the 1991 murders of two sisters on the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer M. Joyce says she will retry 44-year-old Reginald Clemons for the murders of Julie and Robin Kerry, and says she will seek the death penalty against him. She is also filing charges of forcible rape and first-degree robbery.

The state Supreme Court on November 24 overturned first-degree murder convictions for Clemons, who was sentenced to death in 1993.

Clemons had appealed his convictions and a special investigator appointed by the Supreme Court found that prosecutors had wrongly suppressed evidence and that detectives beat Clemons to force a confession. That investigator, retired judge Michael Manners, said those were not harmless mistakes as the state had argued, though he said they were not likely to change the verdicts against Clemons.

The rape charges were filed by the original prosecutors but a law at the time prevented him from being tried for those at the same time as the murders because the death penalty was being sought.

Clemons remains in prison on a 15-year sentence for a 2007 assault on a Department of Corrections employee.

Clemons and three other men were convicted of raping and murdering Julie and Robin Kerry in April, 1991. One of those men, Marlin Gray, was executed in 2005. Antonio Richardson was sentenced to death and his sentence was later changed to life without parole. Daniel Winfrey received a 30-year sentence in exchange for testimony and has been paroled.


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