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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Missouri Appeals Court Considers Overturned Helmig Conviction UPDATED: Dale Helmig ordered released - mid-Missouri man had been imprisoned for nearly 15 years


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Missouri appeals court considers overturned Helmig conviction

Thursday, February 24, 2011
KANSAS CITY — A former house painter whose murder conviction in the 1993 central Missouri killing of his mother was overturned will be back in court as the state attorney general appeals the case.
A hearing is scheduled for Thursday to consider Attorney General Chris Koster's appeal of a judge's decision to overturn the life sentence of 54-year-old Dale Helmig. He was sentenced in 1996 for his mother Norma's death three years earlier. Her body was found tied to a concrete block in a flood-swollen river in Osage County.
A judge in the northwest Missouri county ruled in November that prosecutors and law enforcement officers withheld evidence and presented false testimony at Helmig's trial. He also said Helmig's attorney was likely under the influence of drugs in court.

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http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/article_dd1f16fb-23bc-5c83-90f4-46bc9dd1107b.html

A judge has ordered Dale Helmig, whose conviction for murder has been thrown out, be released on bail while the state appeals court considers his case.

An attorney for Helmig said his family is gathering the funds today to pay 10 percent of Helmig's $50,000 bond. The attorney said Helmig may walk out from prison as early as late this afternoon.

Helmig, 54, has been serving a life sentence without parole after being convicted of first-degree murder in March 1996. The body of his mother, Norma Helmig, 55, was found Aug. 1, 1993, tied to a concrete block in the Osage River. Authorities never determined how she died.

Last month, DeKalb County Senior Judge Warren McElwain declared the imprisoned Helmig innocent of murdering his mother in Osage County in 1993.

Then, with less than a hour to spare on the Nov. 22 deadline, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed paperwork with an appellate court challenging McElwain's decision, a move that kept Helmig behind bars at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron, Mo.

Koster, who had not taken a position on Helmig's guilt, had said it was appropriate for an appellate court to review whether McElwain acted within his jurisdiction.
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