Murder trial..guilty or not

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by squawkers7, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

    BOSTON - A burglar twice convicted of murdering his neighbor has won a new trial - again.
    Craig Conkey's first conviction in the 1994 murder of his Lexington neighbor, Mary Lou Sale, was overturned by the state's Supreme Judicial Court in 1999. The court ruled that Conkey's refusal to provide fingerprints to police should not have been used as evidence against him.
    After a new trial in 2001, Conkey was convicted again. But on Thursday, the SJC also overturned that conviction, ruling that his defense should have been allowed to present additional evidence that someone else may have committed the crime.
    Conkey's lawyers wanted the jury to hear that Sale's landlord had a pattern of sexual aggression toward women who rejected him and may have killed Sale because she had spurned his romantic overtures.
    ``It simply cannot be said that the evidence of the landlord's prior incidents of sexual assault was not relevant,'' the court said in a unanimous, 5-0 ruling.
    Although Conkey was allowed to present some evidence about Sale's landlord, the judge rejected his request to present evidence of his past violence toward women. The judge found ``a fundamental lack of similarity between'' the evidence of his previous behavior toward women and the murder of Sale.
    But the SJC said even though the primary motive for Sale's murder may have been burglary, there was evidence at both of Conkey's trials suggesting sexual assault may also have been a motive. Although there was no scientific evidence of a sexual assault, Sale's pajama top had been ripped open, her pajama bottoms were found on her bed and her underwear was on the floor.
    ``The real problem was that the judge excluded evidence that made the landlord's motive understandable,'' said Conkey's appellate attorney, Michael Schneider.
    ``The jury was left without any evidence that would have given it to understand that (he) had a pattern of sexual hostility toward women and that he had trouble handling rejection.''
    A spokeswoman for Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley had no immediate comment on the ruling.
    Sale, 49, was an accountant who had moved from California to Massachusetts to be closer to her daughter, who was in college. Her body was found by police on her bedroom floor on Dec. 6, 1994. She'd been strangled with a nylon stocking and beaten in the head.
    Jewelry was strewn on the bedroom floor and two of Sale's purses were missing and never found.
    Conkey, an admitted burglar who said he ``liked'' the challenge of breaking into occupied homes, told police he heard a woman scream while he was smoking a cigarette in a wooded area nearby. He said he broke into Sale's house to see what had happened. He said he found Sale, already dead, but did not call police because he didn't want to get involved.
     
  2. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

    Here's another site I found with info about "Craig Conkey". So what do you think?

    Massachusetts v. Conkey (3/96)
    Mary Lou Sale was discovered dead in the bedroom of her suburban Boston home, strangled with a pair of pantyhose. After an intensive investigation, police arrested a young man who lived a block away. But was Craig Conkey the killer -- or was it Sale's landlord, whom the police originally suspected but never arrested? Prosecutors claimed Conkey was an experienced thief who once confided to a girlfriend that he got a thrill from robbing houses while the persons living there were present. If the person living in the house wasn't home, Conkey allegedly said, it was too easy. They theorized that he broke into Sale's house through her back door, and proceeded through the house, eventually making his way up the stairs to the master bedroom. There, while Conkey was in the act of stealing Sale's jewelry and other property, police believe Sale woke up. The two struggled and Conkey killed her. The defense contended that there was no evidence directly linking Conkey to the murder. Conkey admitted that he went to Sale's home on the night of the murder after hearing screams and that she was dead when he found her. Other than his finger and palm prints on the bedroom door -- which were compatible with his story -- there was no other physical evidence connecting him to the murder. Police did not find his fingerprints anywhere else in the house and none of Sale's possessions were discovered during a search of his room. The defense also argued that there was evidence pointing to other suspects. For example, three Caucasian head hairs were discovered on the white pajama top worn by Sale at the time of her killing. Two of the hairs were brown, and appeared to be naturally shed. But one, which was gray, showed signs of having been forcibly removed, and the defense argued that this could have occurred during a struggle. None of the three hairs matched Conkey's head hairs or those of the victim. And there were other fingerprints found in various places in the house which, despite the efforts of the police to get sample prints from everyone ever known to be present, were never identified. The defense also suggested that the murder could have been committed by someone else. The most likely suspect was Sale's landlord, Dr. Ronald Laing. The defense pointed out that Dr. Laing was the original suspect in the case, and that the police questioned him several times and even searched his house. The defense suggested that once the police began to focus their investigation on Conkey, they simply forgot about Dr. Laing, even though there were may have been inconsistencies in his version of the events of the case. Verdict
    Conkey was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
     
  3. headymoechick

    headymoechick I have no idea

    sounds like he's guilty to me but you never know

    let me sit there and see evidence and hear testimonies before I decide
     
  4. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

    -- there was no other physical evidence connecting him to the murder. Police did not find his fingerprints anywhere else in the house and none of Sale's possessions were discovered during a search of his room.

    The most likely suspect was Sale's landlord, Dr. Ronald Laing. The defense pointed out that Dr. Laing was the original suspect in the case, and that the police questioned him several times and even searched his house.
    (from what I remember...her landlord ran off to London)
     
  5. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

    here is a picture of Craig during his first trial
     
  6. indescribability

    indescribability Not To Be Continued

    he looks to dumb to have done it but we will know if somebody else dies
     
  7. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

    how would that prove anything, if he has been in jail for 10 yrs now?
     
  8. squawkers7

    squawkers7 radical rebel

    Sale’s landlord, Dr. Laing, was the initial target of the police
    investigation into Sale’s death. Dr. Laing, who was sixty years old and
    had reddish orange hair at the time of Sale’s death, lived down the street
    from Sale at 1024 Massachusetts Avenue. The police interviewed Dr. Laing on
    December 6, 1994. Dr. Laing told the police that he thought Sale was
    attractive, and that he had asked her out to dinner a couple of times. Sale
    declined these invitations from Dr. Laing. Dr. Laing went on to tell the police
    that on the evening of Saturday, December 3, 1994, he attended a holiday party
    with his fiancee, Mary McAlary (“McAlary”). Dr. Laing and McAlary
    returned to Dr. Laing’s house in Lexington after the party and went to bed
    around midnight. Dr. Laing told the police that he woke up between 7:00 AM and
    8:30 AM the following morning, and that McAlary woke up at approximately 10:00
    AM.



    Dr. Laing made some bizarre and potentially incriminating statements to the
    police during the course of his interview. Dr. Laing stated that he had been
    inside Sale’s bedroom during the last week in November, 1994 to
    investigate a water leak at Sale’s request, and that during the course of
    this visit he opened the middle drawer of the highboy dresser in an effort to
    move the dresser. The police asked Dr. Laing if there were bras, panties, and
    nylons in the drawer, and he said that there were. Although the circumstances
    of Sale’s death had not yet been revealed to the public, Dr. Laing then
    asked the police, “[w]hy, was she strangled with a nylon stocking?”
    Dr. Laing also provided the police with conflicting statements with regard to
    when he had been at Sale’s residence between Friday, December 2 and
    Tuesday, December 6.
     

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