innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

DNA Excludes Whitley as a Suspect

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

By Bill Moushey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

DNA testing has raised doubts about the conviction of Drew Whitley, who has served nearly 18 years of a life sentence for the 1988 murder of restaurant manager Noreen Malloy at the McDonald's near Kennywood Park.

Six hairs found in a stocking mask believed worn by the killer contain DNA that do not match Mr. Whitley's, according to a report received last week by Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. The report was provided over the weekend to Mr. Whitley's attorney, Scott Coffey.

Mr. Whitley has professed his innocence but was convicted on the word of two witnesses and expert testimony that his hair was similar to strands found in the killer's clothing and mask.

Mr. Zappala, who was not in office when Mr. Whitley was tried, agreed in September to have the hairs re-examined after a DNA test in an unrelated case exonerated an Allegheny County man who had spent nearly 20 years in prison for rape.

It is up to the courts to decide whether to order a new trial for Mr. Whitley, set him free or make him serve out his life sentence.

For the whole story, click here.

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