Missouri Supreme Court hears challenge of Woodworth murder conviction

Thursday, October 4, 2012 | 11:46 a.m. CDT; updated 12:54 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 4, 2012

JEFFERSON CITY — The fate of a northwest Missouri man appealing his murder conviction in a neighbor's 1990 death now hinges on whether the state Supreme Court agrees that prosecutors withheld evidence from his defense lawyers.

Mark Woodworth was 16 when Cathy Robertson was shot to death while sleeping in her home near Chillicothe. He was first convicted in a 1995 jury trial. A second jury convicted Woodworth four years later after he was briefly released on appeal.

The Missouri Supreme Court held oral arguments in the case Thursday.

A Boone County judge appointed by the court in an advisory role wrote in May that Woodworth was the victim of "a manifest injustice" and deserves to be freed or receive a third trial. Nearly 100 supporters from both sides packed Thursday's hearing.

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