From Mistrial To Guilty: How Did Stanley Liggins' Fate Change So Fast?

Apr 10, 2019

Stanley Liggins sits at the defense table with his attorneys Derek Jones, left, and Miguel Puentes during a 2017 pretrial hearing in Davenport.
Credit Pool photo

In September 2018, a jury in Waterloo, Iowa, could not come to a consensus over whether Stanley Liggins murdered nine-year-old Jennifer Lewis in 1990. A relatively short time later, in April 2019, a different jury in the same courtroom managed to reach a verdict: guilty.

In a nearly 30-year-old case drawn out by lengthy appeals that would vacate two of Liggins's convictions from the 1990s, the most recent proceedings were a marked departure from the protracted legal battle that has long defined the search for justice.

So, how did Liggins' fate change so quickly?

WVIK Morning Edition host Benjamin Payne posed that question — among others — to Scott Reeder, an independent journalist who has been covering the Jennifer Lewis murder case ever since the Rock Island girl's charred remains were found outside Jefferson Elementary School in Davenport.