Attorneys argue motions ahead of Kareem Lane retrial - WRBL

Attorneys argue motions ahead of Kareem Lane retrial

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Kareem Lane in good spirits before August retrial Kareem Lane in good spirits before August retrial

A new trial is about to start for Kareem Lane, the man accused of killing Muscogee County school superintendent Jim Burns in 1992.

A hung jury resulted in a mistrial in 2012, but now the lawyers are prepared to start all over again. Friday d
efense attorney Stacey Jackson and the prosecution team stood before Judge Bobby Peters to argue motions before Lane's retrial starts in August.

There is no new evidence in the case against Lane, who came under suspicion after witnesses said they saw his truck parked in Burns's neighborhood after the 1992 stabbing. The attorneys were cordial at the hearing, as they had discussed the motions beforehand, but one of the more heated arguments of the day sprouted over one of Lane's tattoos.

Prosecutors say it depicts a clock showing the time of the murder and the time of Lane's release from police custody. "We're offering it more as a confessional statement," said lead prosecutor George Lipscomb to the judge. "We believe that they are hands of the clock, and you'll notice they end right around the time he was released from jail."

Jackson, however, says the tattoo is not a clock at all. "If you look at it, there's not 12 symbols, whether it be 1-12 or 12 Roman numerals," he responded. "It's incomplete."

Judge Peters ruled that unless the prosecution could provide an expert about the tattoo, it would be inadmissible.

Both sides do plan to provide expert DNA witnesses during the trial.

There was also some discussion over whether all the previous trial's rulings would stand, but Peters said with this being a brand new trial, both sides should present the case completely fresh.

Among other motions discussed, the prosecution has agreed to not present song lyrics that Lane has written since the murder. Jackson, in turn, agreed not to bring up the Kenneth Walker shooting, which he has referenced in the past as another racially charged case.

Jury selection starts Aug. 19. The retrial begins Aug. 25.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.

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