LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A judge ordered the release of a former security guard Thursday after prosecutors said new evidence cast doubt on his conviction for killing a college student 16 years ago.
Raymond Lee Jennings, 42, will be released on his own recognizance but must wear an electronic monitoring device. It wasn’t immediately clear when Jennings actually would be freed.READ MORE: Fake Students Potentially Stealing Millions From Financial Aid
“My office has been presented with credible new evidence that brings this conviction into question,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said in a statement Wednesday.
Jennings’ current attorney, Jeffrey Ehrlich, said he asked the district attorney’s newly formed Conviction Review Unit to investigate.
“That reopened investigation has generated new leads that they are actively pursuing,” Ehrlich said.
He said prosecutors have agreed to overturn Jennings’ conviction If nothing new is found within 60 days tying his client to the killing.
Jennings was convicted in the Feb. 22, 2000 shooting death of Antelope Valley College student Michelle O’Keefe, 18, at a Palmdale park-and-ride lot where he worked as a security guard, according to the district attorney’s office.READ MORE: Dodgers' Justin Turner And Wife Renovate Boyle Heights Boys And Girls Club
O’Keefe was shot four times after she returned to her blue Ford Mustang, which she left at the park-and-ride lot so she could carpool with a friend to a Kid Rock video shoot in Los Angeles where they worked as paid extras.
Jennings was convicted in December 2009 of second-degree murder.
The first two juries to hear the case against him deadlocked in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.
The case was eventually returned to Lancaster where Jennings was found guilty and sentenced to spend 40 years to life in state prison.
The California Supreme Court refused in March 2012 to review the case against Jennings.MORE NEWS: Police Announce 14 Arrests In 11 Robberies But No Suspects Remain In Custody
(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)