Murder convict asks for new trial

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Margo Freshwater, a Tennessee murder convict who climbed a prison wall and escaped for three decades, wants a new trial.

Freshwater's lawyer claims he's found new evidence that can show Freshwater didn't shoot a Memphis liquor store owner. During the 1969 trial, prosecutors argued both Freshwater and co-defendant Glen Nash had shot Hillman Robbins to death. Nash was declared insane and never stood trial.

But Freshwater's current lawyer says a jailhouse informant told authorities Nash had said only he had shot the victim -- evidence never used in the trial that brought Freshwater a 99-year jail term. He asked Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs Junior this week for a retrial. Higgs said he will issue a ruling May 25th.

Freshwater escaped from the state women's prison in Nashville in 1970, went to Ohio and lived under an alias. She married twice, had children and has grandchildren in Columbus, where she was known as Tonya Hudkins.

After she was recaptured in 2002, she pleaded guilty to escape and a year was added to her prison term.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)