George C. Cochran Mississippi Innocence Project & Innocence Project

DNA samples taken from the butcher knife used to kill Georgia Kemp in 1992 do not match those taken from Eddie Lee Howard, the man on death row for her murder, according to courtroom testimony Thursday. Barbara Leal, an analyst for Cellmark Forensics, offered expert testimony for the defense Thursday during a hearing on the 24-year-old capital murder case from Columbus. 

Howard, 62, was convicted of capital murder in 2000 after being accused of the rape and murder of 84-year-old Kemp in her Columbus home. He’s been on death row since then. The Mississippi Innocence Project, which is housed at the University of Mississippi, is representing Howard in a post-conviction relief hearing taking place this week in Lowndes County Circuit Court. The Innocence Project is asking Circuit Court Judge Lee Howard to either overturn Eddie Lee Howard’s conviction without ordering a new trial or, failing that, order a new trial. Read more.