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Two Life Sentences Yet Byron is Innocent


Byron Case and his girlfriend, Kelly Moffett, were just teenagers, in autumn of 1997, when their close friends Anastasia WitbolsFeugen and Justin Bruton, another young couple, died suddenly and brutally. The four were out as a group one evening when, as often happened, Anastasia and Justin got into a heated argument about their on-again, off-again romance. Early the next morning, Anastasia’s body was found in an area cemetery by a sheriff’s deputy on patrol. Her once-pretty face had been marred by a powerful pointblank gunshot. Anastasia’s body was not identified for hours, but by the time it was, Justin had already taken drastic steps: his corpse was discovered two days later, behind an abandoned warehouse in a neighboring state. He’d put a shotgun in his own mouth and pulled the trigger.

With no bullet, no weapon, no DNA or trace evidence, and, strangest of all, no established time of death, the case remained open. Byron and Kelly were among the last people to see Anastasia and Justin alive, and the voluntary statements they provided authorities were consistent with the facts. None of Anastasia’s survivors was ever considered a suspect; the case was officially regarded as an unsolved murder-suicide plot.

How, then, did a bizarre accusation by the troubled Kelly Moffett, when Byron tried severing ties with her three years later, end with Byron wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder in a Missouri courtroom?

While Byron’s plea for release is considered by Gov. Nixon, an in-depth independent re-examination of the case is also now underway. Investigating Innocence, an alliance of PIs and forensic-science professionals, is digging in to the circumstances that led to Byron’s 2002 trial and sentencing. Working in conjunction with Byron’s attorney, Cynthia Short, it is their goal to bring to light the new evidence we believe has the power to clear Byron’s name and release him from lifelong imprisonment. The time to free Byron Case is now. Won’t you join us in doing what’s right?

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