Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Charges Dismissed Against Michael Scott and Robert Springsteen in Yogurt Shop case: Springsteen Once Was Sentenced to Death in Case

From the Austin American-Statesman:

Travis County prosecutors moved to dismiss the murder indictments against the two remaining defendants in the 1991 yogurt shop murders after announcing in court today that they are still looking for the person whose DNA was found last year in one of the four teenage victims.

Assistant District Attorney Efrain De La Fuente said in court that the decision came because state District Judge Mike Lynch has ordered that a continuance in the case to conduct further DNA testing would not be considered.

“We are still testing,” he said.

The packed courtroom was quiet after Lynch ordered the dismissals. Defendants Michael Scott and Robert Springsteen, who were once both convicted in the case, hugged their lawyers and supporters in court.

Outside the courtroom, lawyers for the defendants called on authorities to find the real killers.

“Those men that did this back in 1991, they left DNA in there,” said Scott lawyer Carlos Garcia. .”And I don’t know if those guys are still alive …but we have your DNA and sooner or later we are going to match your face to it.”

Springsteen lawyer Joe James Sawyer said that he and his client believe that it is the families of the slain girls who have suffered the most.

“We should reserve our sympathy for the families of those girls,” Sawyer said. “That is paramount.”

Scott, gripping his wife’s hand, was reserved outside court.

“This has been a long time in coming,” he said. “I’m happy to be here.”

At a press conference following the hearing, Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg issued a statement that said in part: “Make no mistake, this is a difficult decision and one I would rather not have to make. I believe it is the best legal and strategic course to take and is the one that leaves us in the best possible posture to ultimately retry both Springsteen and Scott.”

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