Manning seeks new trial in death of women

By The Associated Press

STARKVILLE — An Oktibbeha County judge is considering whether to order a new trial for Willie Jerome Manning, who contends prosecutors in his 1996 capital murder trial may have withheld evidence and presented false evidence.

Manning also contends his attorney could have done a better job.

The Starkville Daily News reports Circuit Judge Lee Howard held a hearing last week.

In a post-conviction petition, an inmate argues he has found new evidence — or a possible constitutional issue — that could persuade a court to order a new trial.

In 2000, the Mississippi Supreme Court upheld Manning’s convictions and two death sentences for the killing of two elderly Starkville women in 1993. In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled Manning could pursue the other claims and directed the trial court to hold a hearing.