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Register storyteller Daniel P. Finney grew up in Winterset and east Des Moines. It was on the rough edge of Rock Island, hit hard by the farm crisis. He was tried and convicted in her death, first in and again in Liggins' defense team exploited errors by police and prosecutors to win a third trial last year.

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The longer pursuit of a conviction goes on, the more it favors the defense, said Rigg, the Drake law professor. Liggins knew her mother and stepfather on friendly and business terms. The jury included three African-Americans on a member panel that included 12 jurors and three alternates.

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Liggins was released in February Nineteen months later, he found himself in trouble with the law in Illinois. The state's high court also ruled the prosecution failed to prove the kidnapping and rape charges took place in Iowa. In Novemberthe Iowa appeals court ruled prosecutors failed to live up to their responsibilities to disclose all evidence to the defense.

When the jury was out of the courtroom, he told the judge he believed the case would be decided on race, not facts. While in prison, Liggins was charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of another inmate at a state prison in Parchman, Mississippi. They were poor. It feels like their lives don't matter. They found people who know him, but they never found Glenn. Liggins disarmed the man and stabbed him 12 times.

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A defense witness testified seeing a man wearing a dark leather jacket studded with leather decals and a ponytail to the middle of his back walking near the area where Jennifer was found. The case was tried in Black Hawk County, which has a more than 9 percent African-American population.

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If Liggins is acquitted — or prosecutors had the wrong man all these years — it's possible that there might never be justice for Jennifer. Joe Glenn dreamed big. An autopsy later revealed Jennifer had been raped and strangled to death.

Jennifer had brown hair and brown eyes with a buck-toothed grin and tomboy attitude, Scott Reeder, a former Quad City Times police reporter, wrote in a column from Liggins was also gone. He once had a swimming pool company visit the house. The two-week trial ended July 25,with the same result as the first: Liggins was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Suggest stories at or dafinney dmreg. On Aug. Criminal activity also tied Liggins to Jennifer's parents. Jennifer asked the saleswoman for 50 cents to buy bubble gum, Reeder reported. A white supremacist rally was held in Dubuque inbut it was overshadowed by counter-protesters.

Her killer poured gasoline on her body — focusing especially on the pelvic region and genitals — wrapped her remains in plastic, left a trail of gas to nearby brush and set her body ablaze.

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They alleged he kidnapped the girl in Rock Island, and then killed her in Davenport. At about 9 p.

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On Feb. Liggins was already convicted in Illinois of the child sex abuse charge, which carried a seven-year prison term. After her killing, a memorial stone was placed outside the Davenport elementary school where she was found. Aaron Hawbaker, a Black Hawk County public defender, confirmed he will represent Liggins in court again, but declined further comment.

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Liggins got his wish for a more diverse jury pool in his third trial. Jennifer's parents were admitted drug dealers. During the trial, Scott County prosecutors also introduced an unusual piece of evidence: a sedan they had cut in half so it would fit in the courthouse. But Dubuque was just a few years removed from a series of 17 cross burnings in and that included organized meetings by the Ku Klux Klan and the white-supremacist Nationalist Movement.

The witness was an inmate at the Scott County Jail, held on unrelated charges, but had volunteered to give police a statement and was given a polygraph test. It ended in September with a hung jury. Liggins was a hard man.

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Prosecutors accused Liggins of killing the other inmate over drug territory. Another witness received a favorable plea agreement from Scott County prosecutors in exchange for his testimony, despite testifying in two trials that he did not, the special master's report concluded.

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On March 12 in Black Hawk County, so continues the murder case that's lasted 29 years — nearly three times longer than Jennifer Lewis lived. She called to report her daughter missing. A fourth trial is set to begin March 12 and time may be on Liggins' side. Jennifer told her mom that Liggins offered to let her keep the change if she went to buy him a pack of chewing gum. Authorities rigged a motorcycle battery to the rear of the severed car to show the taillight brightness. He was sentenced to an additional three years for breaking the jaw of a fellow inmate during a fight.

'i didn't want to believe it was her'

However, Reeder pointed out photos from Jennifer's funeral showed Glenn wearing a leather jacket similar to the one described in court. Davenport police Lt. Dennis Kern fought back tears on the witness stand as he described Jennifer's badly charred remains at the scene where her body was found over two years earlier.

Liggins refused to take the stand in his own defense. A day after Jennifer died, the family was out of food. The Iowa Supreme Court upheld the second conviction in December Liggins languished at the state prison in Fort Madison.

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A witness testified he saw Liggins outside the liquor store where Jennifer went to buy gum. Follow him on Twitter at newsmanone and on Facebook at danielpfinney. March 26, A Rock Island County jury finds Liggins guilty in the case involving the fondling of a Milan, Illinois, girl under age He is eventually sentenced to seven years in prison — later extended by three years for breaking the jaw of a fellow prison inmate. A Peugeot is a boxy, French-made automobile, with square taillights that differ in de from the more common rectangular taillights found on American cars of the era.

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In all, 62 witnesses were called and hundreds of s of transcripts were read to the jury from witnesses who had died or were unavailable since the trial. The informant participated in as many as 80 drug buys for law enforcement groups or officers for the Davenport Police Department, court records showed.

Reeder and a friend heard Glenn was homeless in New Orleans and went to look for him. The third trial in September dragged on for nearly four weeks. At the time of Jennifer's killing, he was on bail from an Illinois charge of sexually abusing a minor. Terry Branstad used the case to push ultimately unsuccessful legislation that would have brought back the death penalty in Iowa.

This in-court revelation would prove the first of many problems for prosecutors. A second trial was moved to Dubuque County because of media attention surrounding the case. Liggins made race an issue as soon as an all-white jury of six men, six women and two female alternates were seated. And that's always bothered me about this case.

The biggest problem was the lack of physical evidence. Defense attorneys countered that the cellmate offered testimony in exchange for a plea agreement on burglary charges — which the cellmate denied. The Glenn house lacked heat, electricity and gas, school officials told the Register at the time.

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It had been vandalized and taken away as if it — and Jennifer — were never there. Reeder returned there recently and found the stone gone. Witnesses testified they saw Liggins with Jennifer the day she was killed.