Larry Ray Swearingen was sentenced to death in July 2000 for the 1998 abduction, sexual assault and murder of Melissa Trotter, a 19-year-old college student from Montgomery County, Texas. DNA testing excluded Swearingen as the perpetrator, and forensic science provides an airtight alibi: Swearingen was in the county jail on outstanding traffic warrants at the time Trotter was murdered and her body dumped in the Sam Houston National Forest.
At a hearing held on January 30, 2013, the new 9th state district court judge Kelly Case issued an indefinite stay of execution, stressing the need for "certainty over finality", so additional DNA testing can be done.
Since then, judge Kelly Case had ordered DNA testing of several items, including the murder weapon, three separate times – each time appealed by Montgomery County's district attorneys. Swearingen's case is currently pending before the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and a ruling is expected to be issued anytime soon.
- This website was last updated on May 17, 2015. -