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Murderer's request for new trial denied

News Mitchell,South Dakota 57301
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Murderer's request for new trial denied
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

ARMOUR -- A convicted murderer's request for a new trial has been denied.

Judge Bruce Anderson filed his decision Monday regarding Lewis Ashker's petition.

Ashker, who was convicted in 1986 for the murder of Delmont resident Jerry Plihal, argued last week DNA testing on hairs from the crime scene showed he was not there. Several hairs in evidence were tested at a laboratory in Arizona, but all tests were either inconclusive or showed certain hairs were Plihal's.

"Nothing in the DNA testing that has been completed by the Arizona laboratory exonerates the Petitioner," Anderson wrote in his decision.

He further wrote the DNA evidence must be considered with all other evidence of the case to determine whether a new trial would result in an acquittal of the murder charges. Anderson noted nothing in the test results showed compelling evidence that acquittal was possible.

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