Attorneys for Kerry Max Cook have filed new motions in the decades-old rape and murder case that Cook was sent to death row for in 1994 asking for Judge Jack Skeen Jr., to be recused from the case and for post conviction forensic DNA testing to be done.
The motions filed this week in the 241st court cite “systematic corruption and egregious misconduct” as being the reasons they are asking for Skeen to be removed from the case and for a judge from outside of Smith County to be appointed to hear the motion seeking new testing.
Cook was arrested for the 1977 homicide of Linda Jo Edwards.
Police found Ms. Edwards' body the morning of June 10, 1977, in her apartment on Old Bullard Road. She had been beaten in the head with a plaster statue, stabbed in the throat, chest and back and sexually mutilated.
Cook was arrested two months later while he worked as a bartender at a Port Arthur club. Police said his fingerprint was on the 21-year-old secretary's sliding glass door.
But Cook said he met her at the apartment complex's swimming pool and went to her apartment.
He denied killing the woman.
He was later sentenced to die and a higher court overturned the case, thus freeing Cook from death row.
Smith County again tried the case in 1992 and in 1998 before Cook entered a no contest plea.
Former Smith County prosecutor David Dobbs said he wonders why Cook and his handlers (the Innocence Project and Centurion Ministries) waited 12 years since Cook was released from prison to begin asking for DNA testing on evidence.
Read the full story and what Dobbs had to say in regards to the case in tomorrow's Tyler Morning Telegraph.