EvidenceProf Blog

Editor: Colin Miller
Univ. of South Carolina School of Law

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

Died In South Dakota, Take 2: All Charges Dropped Against David Lykken After Jailhouse Snitch Admits To Faking Tape

Earlier, I wrote about the murder trial of David Lykken.  As I noted, there were several interesting evidentiary issues in his case.  One issue was the fact that an expected key witness was fellow inmate Aloysius Black Crow.  Lykken allegedly admitted the murders to Crow, who wrote notes about the confessions and recorded them by wearing a wire.  Defense counsel claimed that the notes were hearsay and that the state couldn't prove that it was Lykken's voice on the tapes.

Well, the case took a surprising turn this week as Black Crow admitted that it wasn't Lykken's voice on the tapes.  Black Crow maintains that Lykken still confessed to him before he wore the wire.  He clams, however, that Lykken grew suspicious around the same time he started wearing the wire, leading to Black Crow getting another inmate to confess to the subject murder while pretending to be Lykken.  This discovery led to all charges being dropped against Lykken by the attorney general.

But was something else going on as well.  A commenter on my earlier post wrote, "What has been ignored in the media is that the State, in the persons of Assistant Attorney General Rod Oswald and the Cold Case agents, was told almost two years ago that the voice was not that of the defendant."  I have no way to substantiate that allegation, but if it is true, Lykken should be able to recover a significant amount of money from the state.

-CM

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/evidenceprof/2008/03/died-in-south-d.html

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