NewsCrime and Courts


Lawrence and Jenkins exonerated for 1994 Montana murder

Posted at 6:18 PM, Jun 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 14:47:04-04

HELENA – The case against the two men accused of killing Donna Meagher in 1994 has been dismissed, following their release from prison in April and their murder convictions overturned.

Montana’s Attorney General’s Office motioned to dismiss the case against Freddie Lawrence and Paul Jenkins June First, 2018 citing “The State is continuing to investigate the newly discovered evidence presented at the March 9, 2018 hearing.”

Lewis and Clark County District Court Judge Kathy Seeley ordered the dismissal without prejudice for both Lawrence and Jenkins. Also, the previously scheduled status hearing has been vacated.

Montana Department of Justice Communications Director Eric Sell said in a statement issued to MTN, “As the case has been dismissed without prejudice, charges against these men could be brought again if the state believes evidence warrants such action. The state is still investigating [David] Nelson’s connection to the crime scene.”

At a hearing in March, new evidence was presented showing that there was no DNA at the scene matching either Jenkins or Lawrence. However, DNA did match that of David Nelson. Nelson is a known criminal with a history of violent kidnappings and robberies and is currently serving time for a double homicide in Deer Lodge.

Judge Seeley’s ruling also states both Lawrence and Jenkins are free from previously ordered conditions of release.

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