The public defender advocating for a Juneau man convicted for a thirty year old murder plans to appeal a recent decision denying post-conviction relief.
Newton Lambert’s defense attorney recently applied under a relatively new statute for DNA testing of evidence samples in the belief that there was an additional person at the scene of a downtown apartment in 1982 who may have murdered Anne and James Benolken.
In an opinion issued last month, Ketchikan Superior Court Judge William Carey wrote that he was not convinced that DNA testing of preserved pant and shirt swatches from James Benolken’s clothing would necessarily prove Lambert’s innocence.
Lambert was convicted at trial in 1983 of Anne’s murder, but acquitted of James’ murder.
Another defendant, Emanuel Telles, was eventually acquitted at trial.
Sitka-based public defender Jude Pate said Friday during a brief court hearing that he wants an entry of final judgment on the DNA motion so that it can be considered by the Alaska Court of Appeals. Pate also wants an earlier motion for post-conviction relief set aside for now while the decision on DNA testing is being appealed.
There were no immediate objections from prosecutors.
- Mayor Ken Koelsch, Debbie White and Mary Becker opposed it. Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis was on a scratchy phone connection and did not respond to the roll call to vote.
- The proposal for a 130-unit high-rise apartment building to be built over a downtown city parking lot has alarmed some community members. But city officials say there is no final plan and closure of the deal is still months away.
- “Things have to have an endpoint to it, or they have to have something that keeps directing you, telling you that you’re in the right area,” said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.
- The Department of the Interior announced today that 29 local Alaska governments would receive $29.7 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds, or PILT.