Evidence contamination questioned in McKinney retrial - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Evidence contamination questioned in McKinney retrial

(WMC-TV) - The retrial of a Memphis man, previously convicted of murdering a police officer, spilled out into a rare weekend hearing.

Timothy McKinney, the accused killer, is back in court sixteen years after the death of veteran Memphis police officer Don Williams.

Defense Attorney Gerald Skahan said the years that have passed take a toll.

"Witnesses have passed away, the procedures have changed, witnesses have said many different things. It just makes it more difficult," said Skahan.

On day six of the retrial Saturday, the defense questioned police about evidence contamination.

"What the evidence showed [is] that the evidence was laid on the evidence room floor of the jail before it was sent off for testing. It's up to the jury to determine if that infected the evidence," said Skahan.

Prosecutors Thomas Henderson protested the direction the trial is taking.

"Of all the people who are arrested, so many of them are turned loose. Therefore, this one must be turned loose?" said Henderson.

The prosecution never interviews until the conclusion of the case, but the defense said the case comes down to the eyewitness testimony.

"The main issue in my mind the jury will determine is the eyewitness testimony. Whether or not it's reliable," said Skahan.

The case was retried, after a judge ruled McKinney's attorneys in 1999 failed to give him a fair shake. Back then, a jury sentenced him to death in Williams' shooting death.

Williams was off-duty, working security at Crumpy's Comedy Club in Frayser.

"They're terrible sad cases. The reality of it is this trial is no different than if the victim had not been a police officer. The evidentiary rules are the same and the procedural rules are the same, and what the jury has to work with are the same," said Skahan.

Ten witnesses are expected to take the stand over the weekend.

A judge could have a ruling Monday.

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