Patrise Sanders of Lexington, Ky., declared her innocence during her 23-month stay in jail. She had been indicted with two men on charges of robbing and murdering a man, 62. Last week, one of the codefendants pleaded guilty and said Sanders and the other defendant had nothing to do with the crime, says the Lexington Herald-Leader. “I hate to use this term because it’s so overused, but it’s kind of a perfect storm,” said Mark Stanziano, one of the innocent codefednant’s attorneys. “I think the system works fairly well most of the time. But when it doesn’t work, it really doesn’t work.”
The one man with knowledge of what really happened wouldn’t talk without a deal on the table. Prosecutors are reluctant to offer plea agreements in murder cases, particularly in death penalty cases, because of the severity of the crime. And defense lawyers are often hesitant to talk to prosecutors about plea agreements until late in the case. Prosecutor Ray Larson said that as a matter of policy, his office does not negotiate in murder cases. As the case got closer to trial, prosecutors had concerns about the testimony of the witnesses.