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Paul Jenkins

In this March 9, 2018, file photo, Paul Jenkins listens to testimony in Helena, Mont., during a hearing to review new DNA evidence related to the murder of Donna Meagher, which Jenkins was convicted of in 1995. A Montana judge has vacated the deliberate homicide conviction of Jenkins and another man in the 1995 death of the Helena woman and ordered new trials.

Thom Bridge, Independent Record

A man whose conviction for a 1994 murder west of Helena was overturned last week has been released from the prison infirmary in Lewistown.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Judy Beck says 64-year-old Paul Jenkins was released Tuesday night. He will live with his daughter.

District Judge Kathy Seeley on Friday overturned the convictions and ordered new trials for Jenkins and 56-year-old Freddie Joe Lawrence in the death of Donna Meagher. She ordered their release Tuesday.

Freddie Joe Lawrence

Freddie Joe Lawrence, center, walks out of Montana State Prison as a free man Tuesday. He is accompanied by Toby Cook, left, and Larry Mansch of the Montana Innocence Project. 

The Montana Innocence Project worked on their cases. A recent test on a rope found at the murder scene included DNA that matches convicted killer David Wayne Nelson.

The attorney general's office requested a status hearing in six weeks, by which point they expect to decide whether to re-file the charges.


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