death penalty news—-TEXAS

Aug. 30


Death row inmate wins request for DNA testing

A death row inmate condemned for a 1983 quadruple slaying has won his
request for DNA testing on old evidence he believes could point to other

A state district judge Friday said that Lester Leroy Bower Jr. "would not
have been convicted" if genetic testing linked others to a North Texas
airplane hangar where four men were found shot execution-style.

DNA testing wasn't available in 1984 when Bower stood trial.

Prosecutors had called the request a ploy aimed at delaying Bower's
execution, which had been set for July 22. Attorneys for Bower believe the
crime may have been committed by four other men in a dope deal gone bad.

Bower was convicted after prosecutors built a circumstantial case
surrounding Bower's purchase of an ultralight airplane from one of the
victims. No fingerprints put Bower at the scene, and a murder weapon never
was recovered.

(source: Associated Press)