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Convicted railroad spike murderer wants new trial


XENIA — A death row inmate convicted of killing a county teenager in 1988 has asked for a new trial.

David Lee Myers petitioned the Greene County Common Pleas Court to vacate his death sentence and receive a new trial on the grounds that his convictions and sentences are void or voidable as a result of constitutional errors that occurred at his initial trial and sentencing.

Myers was convicted and sentenced to death in 1996 for the much-publicized railroad spike death of Amanda Jo Maher near some abandoned railroad tracks in Xenia.

Attorneys for Myers — who had an appeal denied in 1999 — raised the following claims in the petition:

— Myers’ convictions and death sentence are predicated on what new scientific evidence has proven to be fundamentally unreliable expert testimony and evidence, in violation of due process.

— Myers’ convictions and death sentence violate the prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment because they are based on false, misleading, and unreliable forensic science.

— The state’s failure preserve key crime scene evidence and destruction of this evidence — the victim’s sexual assault kit — violates Myers’ right to due process.

— Myers was denied effective assistance of counsel when counsel failed to adequately investigate forensic issues or consult with a forensic pathologist.

— Myers is actually innocent of the death penalty as proven by new DNA testing that shows Myers is not the source of male DNA found on key crime scene evidence used during the attack on the victim.

— Myers has proven his DNA is excluded on key crime scene evidence and the evolving standards of decency prohibit the continuing incarceration and execution of a person who is actually innocent.

In lieu of Myers’ petition, Greene County prosecutor David Hayes requested an extension of time in which to file the state’s responses to the defendant’s amended petition to vacate conviction and death sentence and the defendant’s motion for leave to file an amended motion of new trial.

Myers, 58, remains incarcerated at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution.

The state’s responses to the petition and motion are due on or before Sept. 1.

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.