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Death Row Inmate Isom’s Request DNA From Cousin is Denied

April 7th, 2009 by

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 In an order issued April 3, Circuit Judge Sam Pope denied Kenneth Isom’s request for additional DNA testing as to a third cousin, Jerry Avery. The order states that “such an attenuated relationship could not possibly change the results of the testing in this case.” Judge Pope dismissed the petition.

Judge Sam Pope denied death row inmate Kenneth Isom’s recent petition to have DNA tested from his cousin, who Isom’s attorney claims may have been involved in the April 2, 2001 stabbing and beating murder  of 79-year-old William Burton and the attempted murder and rape of Burton’s elderly caretaker, in Monticello, that Isom has been convicted of.

The court denied the motion on the grounds that while the DNA testing may increase the probability somewhat that another unknown person could have contributed the partial DNA profile, that the testing did not exclude Ison.

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Posted March 30, 2009

Death Row Inmate Isom Requests DNA from “Alternate Suspects”

In a hearing before the Drew County Circuit Court Friday, death row inmate Kenneth Isom requested that the court perform DNA tests on 2 “alternate suspects”

 Kevin Green and Jerry Avery, since they would have “similar DNA profiles” to his, that could have affected the outcome of his 2001 murder trial. 

Isom was convicted in the April 2, 2001 stabbing and beating murder  of 79-year-old William Burton and the attempted murder and rape of Burton’s elderly caretaker, in Monticello.

Early in the hearing Judge Sam Pope excluded Green from being included in the testing, based on lack of sufficient evidence.

 Isom’s attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig, told the court that Isom’s cousin, Jerry Avery’s DNA should be available to be tested, even though no one knows where Avery is, because Avery’s DNA should be in the possession of at least one state agency.  

It was also noted that Avery was seen after the time of the crime, with an injured and bloody hand.

Rosenzweig told the court that technology has been developed since the trial that is “literally 100 times better than” what was available at that time, adding, “it would be an abuse of discretion not to allow the testing to be done.”  He also pointed out that the U.S. Supreme Court recently heard, but has not ruled in the Osborne case, which is similar in nature to this motion.

Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Deen, representing the state, explained that there was no evidence of a 3rd party being involved in the crimes that took place that night.

Also Deen pointed out “this is not new evidence, only a new procedure”, and added, “it fails at every level” worthy of being re-considered.

Deen concluded by saying, “there is no evidence that Isom is innocent, and no evidence that Avery is guilty.”

Judge Pope took the matter under advisement, and will notify the parties of his decision.

13 Responses to “Death Row Inmate Isom’s Request DNA From Cousin is Denied”

  1. Jackie Wayne says:

    Ken is my cousin and I’ve never believe he would do something like this. I truly hope they find the person who did this to that lady. I know they lost a family member, but we have lost one also. I’ll keep you in my prayes love ya!

  2. phillips says:

    They have found the person!!!! The DNA has already proved itself!! GEE.. They found the scissors with isoms prints on them and his finger prints at the crime scene and she identify in a line up. What more do you need.

  3. Susiemo says:

    I just wounder if it is a extreme % that the DNA could be of someone else what was his number ratio to the world and would his cousin even come to close % amount???????/

  4. yvonne says:

    No, they have not found the person and where u there and heard them say that those where his fingerprints? If you dont know things for sure then who r u to judge? Get all the true facts before speaking. DNA did not proveit, did you read last week article thats out of a million people,

  5. Just Pray About It!! says:

    First of all there was no prints where found at the scene or on the scissors!! As for the DNA test, it was one and 57 million chance it could’ve been him. Check your medical book that is a very slim chance in the first place. That’s what is wrong with this world today always quick to judge and not look at the facts……. What if the shoe was on the other foot and it was you how would you feel? They all so focused on Isom, and the one that really did it is still out in the world scott-free, He could strike again.I know that everybody has an opinion, but it is not always the right one. I’m going to just put this in GOD’s hand and pray about it and for all those out there that think they know.
    TO THE ISOM FAMILY KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL GOD SAY IT’S OVER, AND UNTIL GOD SAID IT’S DONE…. BECAUSE WITH GOD’S UP EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. sue says:

    He needs to stop wasteing the courts time.

  7. trottergirl says:

    I think they should test the DNA. What if he didn’t do it? Before killing someone make sure he commited the crime and if that means test others DNA do it. His DNA is already at a state agency so what’s the problem?

  8. concerned1 says:

    His DNA has already been tested. Its a One in 57 million chance that it could be another black male. Think about that One in 57 Million black males! And considering there’s an eye witness that makes it pretty conclusive he did it and a jury and the supreme court agree. No need to waste more time and energy on this guy.

  9. proud mother says:

    Thank you “concerned1”. I’m sure that everyone deserves a second chance, however, did the victims of this horrible crime have a second chance? If the DNA proves that he is guilty without reasonable doubt, then why are we wasting valuable time, money, and energy?

  10. trottergirl says:

    I thought she recognized him by his gold tooth? Ok one in 57 million chance, so there is a chance? I just saying, if there is .10 chance, test it. Who knows the real killer may be sitting back laughing……. I am not taking up for this man but he’s about to executed and I think they should leave no rock unturned. You know we can all be like: kill’em, he’s gulity, he’s not worthy of our time and money, etc., etc., but What if he was your child?
    Again, I am not taking up for him and I hate what happen to William and the others. That was a horrible,hianus muder/ordeal for anyone have to deal with especially the elderly.

  11. hobbitt says:

    concerned1 has it right.
    If I am understanding the legal action correctly, Isom is not asking that they test the DNA against him, that was already done. He wants the DNA testing against his cousin. The DNA was already tested against Isom. The sample was degraded and therefore not a complete match. But it was a reasonably good match. Isom has had a trial, he’s had appeals. He is trying the classic some other guy did it defense.

  12. Brenda07 says:

    Well like people have said the LORD knows what happened and one thing is for sure someone’s DNA will not change no matter how old they get and these people need to get over the fact that their family member is and was found gulity and stop trying to put things on other persons that wasn’t even there. I am a family member of one of the person they tried to use and I am so glad that the Judge said that he wasn’t going to make him give his DNA so we all feel sorry for the Isom family but just get right with GOD and he’ll handle the rest.

  13. tee says:

    I will say once again that maybe they have the wrong person.
    Maybe there was another individual involved or several. Before they kill Mr. Isom, I think they should test the other possibilities.

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