(AP) Five jurors who convicted a teenager of killing his mother 20 years ago now say they would have acquitted him, after learning a newspaper investigation turned up evidence that a second person might have been involved.
“I feel that I made a mistake,” juror Linda R. Kelly, a retiree living in San Diego County, told the Los Angeles Times for an article published Tuesday. “Hopefully, he will get a new trial and he can have the rest of his life.”
Bruce Lisker, now 39, was convicted of second-degree murder in the beating and stabbing death of his 66-year-old mother, Dorka, at her Sherman Oaks home in 1983.
Lisker twice confessed but has recanted, saying the confessions were bids to win his release through a plea deal and parole.
His lawyers have filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus, which would require a judge to determine whether Lisker should be freed.
The Times reported Sunday that jurors were never told about a phone call that might have linked a former roommate of Lisker’s to the crime scene. A recent police analysis of a bloody footprint left in a bathroom concluded that it did not match Lisker’s shoes, implying that a second suspect was in the house at the time of the killing.
Eight of the 12 jurors who convicted Lisker were contacted by the Times. Five said the new information would have led them to acquit. One said she was not sure, and two declined to comment.
“I am saddened, as well as angered, that the evidence … was not presented to the jury,” juror Lorraine Maxwell said in a sworn statement that Lisker’s lawyers submitted to the court Monday.
“They didn’t present us the whole truth,” juror Mary L. Tweten said of authorities. Had she known of the evidence, “I would not have voted guilty — absolutely not.”