Prosecutors Rest Their Case In Murder Retrial Of Stanley Liggins

Sep 14, 2018

Prosecutors in the murder retrial of Stanley Liggins rested their case Friday morning.

The 56-year-old Liggins faces one count of first-degree murder in the killing of Jennifer Lewis, a nine-year-old Rock Island girl whose charred remains were found near an elementary school in Davenport in September of 1990.

Liggins has twice been convicted of her murder, but both convictions were overturned by state courts. Liggins maintains his innocence.

More than 50 people have been called to the stand since the third trial began last month in the Black Hawk County Courthouse in Waterloo, Iowa.

One witness who has testified is Brenda Adams, who was Liggins' girlfriend at the time of the killing. Adams says she smelled gasoline in his car the morning after the killing. Jennifer Lewis was found in a burnt garbage bag that had been doused with gasoline.

Another witness, Wanda Hughes, said that on the night of the killing, she was at a house near the scene of the crime. She looked outside and saw a car she would later identify as the one belonging to Liggins.

Defense attorneys have questioned Hughes's testimony, since she admits to having waited two weeks before coming to police to report what she saw. Hughes has also admitted to being a paid informant for Davenport police in dozens of other cases.

Just this week, a former cellmate of Liggins testified. Frank Reising says that Liggins confessed to him in jail that he killed Lewis.

Attorneys for Liggins will now have their turn to call witnesses to testify.

Judge Marlita Greve says the trial should finish by the end of next week.