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4 years after man’s execution, DNA on the murder weapon makes authorities question verdict

Recently, new evidence regarding the brutal murder of Debra Reese– a 26-year-old girl– has been revealed, leading authorities to question the execution of the convicted suspect, four years later. 

Lendell Lee, after two decades on death row, was executed for the murder of Debra Reese. On February 9th, 1993, Debra Reese– a 26-year-old Arkansas woman– was beaten inside her home with a wooden bat given to her by her husband, before being strangled to death. Reports say that the suspect violently struck Reese 36 times with her bat. In addition to killing Reese, the suspect reportedly stole $300. Several of Reese’s neighbors reported that they saw Lendell Lee near her house and identified him to the police. Nearly an hour later, authorities found and arrested Lee after spending $300 at a shop nearby. In addition to the murder of Reese, Lee was tried for the brutal rape of 3 women.

Lee was found guilty of the brutal rape of a woman in 1991 and of a Jacksonville teenage girl in 1990, while the jury could not reach a verdict regarding the rape, abduction, and first-degree murder of a Jacksonville mother in 1989. In 1995, Lee was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentanced to death by lethal injection. Lee was executed in 2017. Recently, a new procedure of DNA identification that was previously unavailable has found DNA that has left authorities confused. However, it is not clear whether or not this evidence will  provide any new information on the court’s decision to execute Lee. 

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ARTICLE: CARSON WOLF

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: THE NEW YORK TIMES

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