Court Rebuffs Effort to Send Jennings Back to Prison

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A Missouri Court denies the state's effort to send a Buffalo man back to prison.  Brad Jennings was convicted of 2nd degree murder in the 2006 Christmas morning death of his wife Lisa at their home in rural Buffalo.

Two months ago, a judge vacated Jennings conviction and set him free, because Jennings' attorneys showed that the state failed to turn over forensic testing that showed Jennings likely did not fire a gun the night his wife died.  Three agencies initially ruled Lisa Jennings death a suicide.   The Highway Patrol believed it was murder.

The Attorney General's office filed an appeal with the Southern District Court of Appeals arguing that there was a brief mention of gunshot residue testing in Jennings' original trial so his attorneys should have asked about the potential evidence.  The Attorney General said because of that Jennings wasn't entitled to the hearing and vacated conviction he was granted last November.

But the appeals court disagreed, saying in part "The state's admitted  failure  to  ever,  let  alone  timely,  disclose  this  critical  evidence  renders  particularly  repugnant  the  state's  argument  that Jennings should  have  earlier discovered the undisclosed evidence."

We asked the Attorney General's office for a response and a spokeswoman gave KOLR10 News the same statement we received after the hearing last November, saying they've received the ruling and are reviewing options.

The state has until June 8th to decide if it will retry Jennings.   He remains free on bond and is considered innocent again until proven guilty.


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