New DNA evidence was discovered at the scene and weapon of a 1993 murder, four years after the execution of a suspect who had maintained his innocence for decades.
Ledell Lee was convicted of the rape and slaying of his neighbor Debra Reese, 26, who was bludgeoned to death with a tire iron.
Reese was also strangled and the murderer stomped on her face leaving his shoe’s mark that was not similar to the shoes Lee was wearing on that fateful day.
Despite that, Lee was found guilty of Reese’s death and even linked to three other rape and murder cases. He was executed in 2017.
Lee’s sister filed a lawsuit against Jacksonville Police demanding the release of fingerprints and DNA not belonging to her brother that were found on the crime scene.
It was then revealed that an unidentified man’s DNA was found on the murder weapon and on a bloodied shirt as well as fingerprints.
But AG Leslie Rutledge insists that Lee’s conviction and execution were righteous.
“The court consistently rejected Ledell Lee’s frivolous claims because the evidence demonstrated beyond any shadow of a doubt that he murdered Debra Reese by beating her to death inside her home with a tire thumper.”
She concluded: “After 20 years, I am prayerful that Debra’s family has had closure following his lawful execution in 2017.”