Attorneys argue before the appellate court in Kerry Max Cook - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Attorneys argue before the appellate court in Kerry Max Cook's case

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

Thursday morning oral arguments in Kerry Max cook's case were heard in the Twelfth Court of Appeals.

Cook and his attorneys filed motions this year requesting more DNA testing on evidence that Cook says will  exonerate him of a 1977 rape and murder.

The Court heard oral arguments on a petition for writ of mandamus and a motion to dismiss as moot.

One attorney for Cook, Marc McPeak, argued that the petition for writ of mandamus should be granted  because an order issued by the court in 2003 was void. According to Cook's attorneys, that order was not proper procedure for appointing a new judge to hear a case where there is a conflict or potential conflict of interest. This is relevant in Cook's case because the Smith County District Attorney who prosecuted Cook in the 90s is now the Smith County 241st District Court Judge, Jack Skeen Jr.

McPeak says Cook requests that The State's motion to dismiss be denied.

Mike West, representing The State, says he's asking the court to declare the 2003 order issued as valid. West says McPeak is causing more delays and "feet-dragging" in sending off evidence for testing.

"It has been our position from the beginning that the 2003 transfer and everything that flowed from it was improper," McPeak says.

West says the Smith County District Attorney's office has conducted their investigation and prepared their chain of custody report regarding the DNA evidence Cook wants tested. West says he asked McPeak for the official order since it was McPeak's motion to get the evidence tested and has run into nothing but delays and difficulties ever since. West says McPeak is causing the delay on his own motion.

"This is a horrible, horrible crime," says West. He tells The Court if there is any evidence to be tested, The State wants it tested. West says, "If I was truly  innocent, the one thing I'd want tested would be the murder weapon, but McPeak's motions are halting that."

McPeak tells The Court it was not his intent to waste anyone's time.  McPeak argues that Cook does not want the  murder weapon and a slide of Cook's hair re-tested for DNA evidence. Cook's attorneys say the chain of custody has been broken on these particular items because they were improperly kept in someone's personal possession instead of properly stored in evidence. They say for that reason, the integrity of this evidence has been compromised and they do not want the items tested.

The Twelfth Court of Appeals accepts the parties arguments. A decision regarding the motions will be made by The Court at a later date.

Copyright 2012 KLTV. All rights reserved.

 

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

    Severe reaction to new sandals leads woman on a painful path

        One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction.  She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>

    One woman wants to warn people about her painful path, the result of a severe and debilitating allergic reaction. She had no idea what she was allergic to until she visited a fourth emergency room in two weeks.    

    More >>
  • 'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    'I got 2 clips!' Impatient mom pulls out gun, threatens barber cutting son's hair

    Friday, April 28 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-04-28 21:45:21 GMT
    (Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)(Source: Crime Stoppers of Cuyahoga County Facebook)

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>

    Police are looking for a woman who pointed a gun at a barber all because her son's haircut was taking too long.

    More >>
  • 'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    'The Phantom' serial killer of children out of prison, living in Tucson

    Thursday, April 27 2017 12:17 AM EDT2017-04-27 04:17:43 GMT
    Friday, April 28 2017 11:32 PM EDT2017-04-29 03:32:02 GMT
    Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Convicted killer William Huff was spotted riding his bicycle through a Tucson neighborhood. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children.

    More >>

    William Huff terrorized Sierra Vista during the spring and summer of 1967. Despite a sentence of 40 years to life, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency voted to release him from prison into home arrest. Family members of the victims are concerned for the safety of the community, as are new members of the Clemency Board. CBS 5 Investigates videotaped Huff riding a bike through his Tucson neighborhood. There are no restrictions placed on his proximity to children. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly