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DeKalb County State's Attorney Asks For Special Prosecutor To Look At Perjury In McCullough Trial

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DeKalb County State's Attorney

DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack is requesting the Circuit Court appoint a special state's attorney to investigate possible perjury by a Seattle, Washington police officer in the 2012 trial of Jack D. McCullough for the 1957 murder of Maria Ridulph.  

McCullough was found guilty. His conviction was dismissed this year after Schmack said a court-ordered review including evidence not admitted in that trial showed McCullough could not have committed the crime. McCullough was freed after spending several years in prison. 

In his Aug. 22 petition seeking the appointment, Schmack says he was recently apprised by McCullough's son-in-law, Casey Porter, of a video and audio recording of an interview between Seattle Detective Irene Lau and McCullough conducted at the Seattle Police department in 2011. Schmack says the recording "appears to contradict elements of Detective Lau's narrative account prepared after the interview and her testimony in the McCullough trial  on September 10, 2012."

Lau testified in DeKalb County Court that, during the interview, McCullough described the seven-year-old victim as "lovely, lovely, lovely." But, Schmack says, review of the tape shows McCullough never made that statement.  

Schmack says any investigation of perjury by Lau would necessarily involve inquiry into the prosecution case in the 2012 trial. He says that would clearly include interviews with past and present employees of the DeKalb County State's Attorney's office.  Schmack says that would mean the office would be investigating itself, a clear conflict of interest.  Schmack also says the fact that he himself was not in his present position, or connected to the 2012 case in any way, does not change that conflict.  Therefore, he asks the court to appoint a special state's attorney - someone from outside his office - to conduct the investigation into Lau's conduct. 

Guy Stephens produces news stories for the station, and coordinates our online events calendar, PSAs and Arts Calendar announcements. In each of these ways, Guy helps keep our listening community informed about what's going on, whether on a national or local level. Guy's degrees are in music, and he spent a number of years as a classical host on WNIU. In fact, after nearly 20 years with Northern Public Radio, the best description of his job may be "other duties as required."
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