Judge denies new trial for Freshwater

Margo Freshwater
Margo Freshwater

Margo Freshwater was just 18 when she hooked up with a Memphis attorney and went on a crime-spree, killing a liquor store clerk.  She was convicted but escaped, on the lam for more than 30 years. Her defense contended she didn't pull the trigger and therefore should not have been found guilty.

Margo Freshwater's defense attorney said there was news evidence. A statement from a now -deceased jailhouse informant that would prove his client's innocence.

Freshwater's lover and partner in crime, Memphis attorney Glenn Nash, allegedly confessed to the jailhouse informant that he was the lone shooter responsible for store clerk Hillman Robbins' death in 1966.  Nash never stood trial because he was declared insane.

"We believe that if the jury had heard this information they would have rendered a different verdict," said defense attorney Stephen Ross Johnson.

But a judge disagreed, siding with prosecutors who argued it was irrelevant who pulled the trigger.

"She was guilty as an aider and abettor by the fact that she helped case the place helped participate in the robbery and obviously took advantage of the proceeds so it wouldn't make any difference from that standpoint," said Assistant District Attorney John Campbell.

"Ms. Freshwater is in prison, the real shooter is a free man in West Memphis Arkansas,"  Johnson countered.

Freshwater, who has a heart condition, was too sick to travel to the hearing according to her attorney, but her husband and son did attend, hoping for a different outcome.

"And it's not over, we still have a long ways to go and we will pursue it," said Freshwater's husband, Daryl McCartor.

But prosecutors say as far as they're concerned it is over.

"She owes the state of Tennessee 99 years," prosecutor Campbell said.

Defense attorney Stephen Johnson plans to take this case to the state court of criminal appeals, meanwhile Margo Freshwater is in the Tennessee Prison for Women, the same place she escaped from 40 years ago.