Lester Street killer wants new trial - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Lester Street killer wants new trial

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(File photo) (File photo)
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Lester Street killer Jessie Dotson is sitting on death row. But he wants an appeals court to overturn his conviction and grant an entirely new trial.

Six people, two of whom were young children, were found dead inside a home on 722 Lester Street in March 2008.

Jessie Dotson was convicted and sentenced to death.

His defense attorneys are appealing the case on 45 different issues. One of their main arguments involves his confession during an interview with police.

During testimony at trial, the jury heard that Dotson had requested an attorney.

Defense attorneys say the jury having knowledge that Dotson requested an attorney should have been grounds for a mistrial. That is not information the jury is allowed to know.

"While every person has that right, to put that in front of a jury sends a message that's just not fair at trial," said Defense Attorney Marty McAfee. "It really doesn't prove anything and it casts a shadow because lots of people think that you shouldn't ask for a lawyer if you've got nothing to hide."

McAfee added, "It would almost certainly prejudice how people feel about someone charged with a crime."

It is unknown when the appeals court will rule. It could take weeks, months, even a year, or longer.

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