A hearing will begin Monday to determine whether a man on death row since 1991 for the rape and murder of two women on the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge deserves a new trial.
Reginald Clemons, was one of four men convicted of throwing Julie Kerry, 20, and her 19-year-old sister Robin to their deaths from the span between the metro-east and Missouri after he confessed to the crime, claims that the confession was beaten out of him by St. Louis police.
Clemons was supposed to be executed in 2009. But that was halted by federal appeals court.
According to News-Democrat reports, the men had randomly come across the sisters and their male cousin on the night of April 4, 1991, on the abandoned Chain of Rocks Bridge.
Defendant Daniel Winfrey, who testified against the others as part of a plea agreement, maintained that Clemons suggested the group rob the sisters and their cousin, Tom Cummins, and that the sisters were raped while Cummins was restrained.
Prosecutors said the three victims were then were forced through a manhole to a platform below the bridge deck. The sisters were pushed off and died, but Cummins survived the 70-foot fall into the river.
Clemons was convicted of murder as an accomplice, and his rape confession was used as an aggravating factor in the penalty phase of his murder trial.
Winfrey pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He has been released from prison and is on parole.
Another defendant, Marlin Gray, was executed in 2005. The death sentence for co-defendant Antonio Richardson was overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court in 1993 because he had been sentenced by a judge after jurors deadlocked without agreeing on the factors needed for the death penalty.