New trial set for 27-year-old murder

WASHINGTON – Seven D.C. men convicted of murdering a woman nearly 30 years ago are getting a new hearing on a motion they filed to overturn their convictions.

In 1984, 48-year-old Catherine Fuller was dragged into an alley in Northeast D.C. and brutally murdered in broad daylight. Police say no one came to her aid, and it was all over her rings and $50 in cash.

Most of the men convicted are still behind bars, but say prosecutors forced witnesses to lie and coerced their confessions. They also say police and prosecutors ignored evidence that someone else commited the murder.

And at least one witness now says he lied at the original trial because he was afraid of police.

Now, 27 years later, a judge has granted a hearing to see if the defendants’ claims meet the legal requirements for a new trial.

Starting Monday, the defendants, original prosecutors, detectives and the witnesses will have the opportunity to tell their stories again.

The case is expected to take up to four weeks.

WTOP’s Mark Segraves contributed to this report. Follow Mark and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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