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Mo. Supreme Court denies Koster's motion related to Helmig case

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

Whether or not Dale Helmig should be set free has been an ongoing point of legal debate since 2005, when his 1996 conviction for murdering his mother was thrown out. The judge involved said prosecutors, including former congressman Kenny Hulshof, and law enforcement officers withheld evidence and presented false testimony at trial.

Here's a quick timeline for you if you need some refreshing on what's happened since then, and a few more points to bring you up to speed:

  • Circuit Judge Warren McElwain issued a writ of habeas corpus on November 3, 2010
  • Helmig was freed from prison on Dec. 13, 2010, but faced the possibility of retrial
  • Mo. Atty. Gen. Chris Koster appealedMcElwain's writ. The court ruled in Helmig's favor on March 29, 2011.
  • In April, Koster asked that the Missouri Supreme Court hear the case.

Today, the state's highest court denied that request. Helmig's attorney, Sean O'Brien, said "this effectively ends Mr. Koster’s challenge to Judge McElwain’s Writ of Habeas Corpus and commences the 180-day time period within which to retry the case or dismiss the charges."
That decision would be up to Osage County prosecutor Amanda Grellner, who did not return a call for comment.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.