Legal fight continues after Alley's execution over DNA test, autopsy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Legal fight continues after Alley's execution over DNA test, autopsy

The daughter of executed killer Sedley Alley wants to pursue DNA testing from evidence found at the 1985 crime scene.

Kelley Henry, an assistant federal public defender, said Alley's daughter April McIntyre wants testing done that Alley supporters believe will clear him of killing and raping 19-year-old Suzanne Collins near a Memphis Navy base.

Alley was killed Wednesday in Tennessee second execution in 45 years.

Alley had claimed at trial that he was not responsible for the murder because he had multiple personalities. But in 2004, he recanted his confession, argued he was innocent and said DNA testing could prove it.

Henry said tests could be performed on saliva discovered on Collins' clothing and on samples from a pair of men's underwear found near her body that are believed to belong to the killer.

"It's important for the truth to be known," Henry said. "It's important for his children the truth be known."

Victims rights advocate Verna Wyatt, who was a spokeswoman for Collins' family, said the DNA evidence would be unreliable because of the way it was handled and preserved.

"If they got the evidence and they were allowed to test it, it's not going to prove his innocence. It might prove his guilt, but it's not going to prove his innocence," she said.

Barry Scheck, whose nonprofit Innocence Project was involved in Alley's effort to get DNA testing, said on Wednesday he would see what options exist to get the DNA evidence tested.

"If they don't turn it over, we'll have to determine what remedies we have under state law," he said.

On a separate legal front, prosecutors want State Medical Examiner Bruce Levy to perform an autopsy on Alley but his lawyers have gotten a court order to bar the procedure because Alley said it conflicted with his religious beliefs.

"Mr. Alley is not a scientific experiment," Henry said. The court order blocking the autopsy was issued by federal Judge Aleta Trauger.

Alley's body is in Levy's possession in Nashville, where it is being preserved.

The last person put to death in Tennessee, convicted child killer Robert Glen Coe, was autopsied following his execution in 2000.

Powered by Frankly