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SD Murder Convict Says DNA Test Proves Innocence

March 7, 2014, 6:35 AM

ARMOUR, SD -

A man convicted of a 1985 murder in South Dakota has been ruled out as the source of two hair samples taken from the victim, but it's uncertain if that's enough to clear him.

Lewis Ashker and Kurt Novaock, both of Wayne, Neb., were sentenced to life in prison for killing Jerry Plihal while trying to steal his gun collection. Authorities said Plihal was stabbed 21 times.

Ashker requested the hairs be tested using DNA technology that became available a few years ago. He's now asking Judge Bruce Anderson to overturn his 1986 conviction.

Deputy Attorney General Bob Mayer acknowledges Ashker isn't the source of the hair samples but says other evidence in the case must be taken into account.

Anderson will rule later.

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