For Immediate Release - June 09, 2009

Superior Court has denied the second post conviction relief motion in the case of Commonwealth v. Christopher McCowen

District Attorney Michael O'Keefe announced today that the Superior Court has denied the second post conviction relief motion in the case of Commonwealth v. Christopher McCowen. McCowen was convicted of the murder and aggravated rape of Christa Worthington following a two-month trial in November, 2006.

The first post trial motion alleged racial bias among the jurors. That motion was denied by trial judge Gary A. Nickerson. This second motion alleged prosecutorial misconduct in failing to turn over alleged exculpatory evidence. In his ruling released today, Judge Nickerson called that claim "baseless" in denying the motion.

At issue were the actions in 2003 of one Jeremy Frazier who pulled a knife in a beach parking lot in a dispute with several other young men. There was no allegation that the knife was used, only displayed. The defense attorney claimed that he was denied this exculpatory report and that he would have introduced it at the trial.

The Judge found first that the defendant had the criminal record of Mr. Frazier and could have and should have specifically requested the reports. Secondly, had he done so, information contained therein would have been inadmissible because the suggestion that the incident in the parking lot among young men and the savage attack on Christa Worthington were similar was "…hyperbole."

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