Evidentiary hearing for William Thomas Zeigler

William Thomas Zeigler/Grid AdS

William Thomas Zeigler/Grid AdS

Evidentiary hearing for William Thomas Zeigler for DNA testing pursuant to Section 925.11, Florida Statutes (2006) and Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.853 will be held on Thursday March 31, 2016, at 10:00 a.m., in courtroom 10-B, Orange County Courthouse, 425 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida.

On July 2, 2015, Zeigler filed a motion seeking DNA testing using powerful, previously unavailable techniques that will demonstrate Zeigler’s innocence.

Among other things, Zeigler’s motion established that

(1) he is requesting testing using newly developed testing technology, such as “touch DNA,” “Y-STR” and “mini-STR” testing;

(2) the probative value of the testing Zeigler seeks must be assessed in light of the cumulative exculpatory evidence Zeigler has uncovered since his trial; and

(3) a particularly important piece of exculpatory evidence the Court must consider is the recent recantation of key witness Felton Thomas, who now contends that crucial aspects of his trial testimony were false.

Felton Thomas’s recantation is directly relevant to Zeigler’s DNA Motion because Thomas’s testimony was central to the State’s case at trial and because the Florida Supreme Court has repeatedly cited it in the past as a basis for denying Zeigler additional DNA testing.”

In December 1975, a quadruple murder took place in the Zeigler Furniture Store in Wintergarden, Florida. The victims were Charles Mays, Virginia and Perry Edwards (Zeigler’s parents-in-law), and Eunice Edwards-Zeigler (Zeigler’s wife). This case is discussed in detail on my blog. All those posts can be found here. My concerns in this case are here.

This evidentiary hearing for William Thomas Zeigler is crucial.

When this Court makes its decision on whether to grant the requested DNA testing, it must determine whether the “totality of the evidence” – including newly discovered evidence – would reasonably likely result in an acquittal. The recanting of critical testimony by one of the most important witnesses at trial must be considered on this motion.”

To review the totality of the evidence, that is what this case needs.

To be continued.