Judge urges new trial for Mark Woodworth in 1990 Missouri farm death

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 | 4:29 p.m. CDT; updated 6:04 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, May 1, 2012

COLUMBIA — A Missouri judge says a man twice convicted in the 1990 slaying of a Missouri farm wife was the victim of "a manifest injustice" and should have his conviction set aside.

Boone County Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler ruled Tuesday that prosecutors didn't turn over key evidence to Mark Woodworth's attorneys.

Woodworth was 16 when his neighbor, Cathy Robertson, was shot to death while she slept in her northwest Missouri home. Her husband, who was Woodworth's father's business partner, survived the shooting.

Woodworth was charged nearly three years later after a single fingerprint was found on an ammunition box inside Robertson's shed and a common manufacturing defect in his father's handgun.

Woodworth first was convicted in 1995 and again in 1999 following an appeal. He's serving a life sentence for murder.

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